Gloucester bowls club having won the grade 4 pennant competition this year had the task of representing the Manning Zone in the NSW State Pennant Championships in Tuncurry and Forster over the weekend of August 6th to 8th.
Fighting well above our weight to just win the grade from the big clubs of Taree, Forster and Tuncurry, the 12 men from our regular 50 bowlers had to take on the might of the biggest and most professional clubs in NSW.
The three teams of 4 players representing the club were Bruce Wilson, Steve Higgins, Steve Brown skipped by Col Hebblewhite, Lu Urby, Gordon Pritchard and Allen Rose, skipped by Col Linton and Bob Charman, Phil Wilson and Tony Tersteeg skipped by John Andrews.
Two other regulars were not available on the day. Terry Higgins was unwell and Andrew Henderson was away.
In the sectional round our boys faced Raymond Terrace, Hazelbrook and Park Beach Club from Coffs Harbour.
On Friday afternoon the teams had a close win against Raymond Terrace taking two of the three matches and winning the overall shots total by 63 to 61.
That put 9 bonus points into our bag. In match two on Saturday morning against Hazelbrook all three teams had good wins to take 10 bonus points in a 72 to 49 shot victory and putting us in a strong position for game three against Park Beach.
This proved to be a tough match up. Although we won two of the three games, we lost the overall shot total by one shot, 55 to 56 but by winning two matches we added 2 points to our count, making 21 bonus points to Park Beach's 19 and this gave us enough to go through to the semi final on Sunday.
St Johns Park was to be our opponent and they represent the epitome of professional bowls clubs with over 500 regular players and many fully professional players including many Australian representatives. We knew Gloucester had a tough job ahead but with the game of bowls everything is always possible and having knocked over three bigger clubs our men were never intimidated.
Our teams led the match by one shot after 21 of the 63 ends of play and after losing 12 shots on ends 36 to 38 our boys surged again to lead by one shot on end 42.
This was when St Johns Park powered away and despite valiant efforts our boys had to concede and lost the match 60 shots to 48, the very same 12 shot difference that we lost on ends 36 to 38. St Johns Park went on into the final where they were beaten by a very good team from Nyngan.
It was a magnificent effort by our boys and the Gloucester Bowling Club is very proud to have these men representing us and they can be thoroughly proud of themselves.
The teams have requested that their thanks be sent to all the people who made the effort to support them over the three days, bowls club members and people who were not necessarily bowlers but just wanted to support the town and the teams and in their giant killing venture.