Gloucester bowlers will be hoping to repeat this year’s successes when the 2018 Zone 11 pennants start on March 3.
The club will again be represented in two grades. In 2017 the grade three won the zone flag. Zone 11 takes in clubs from Harrington to Bulahdelah.
This was Gloucester’s first pennant win since 2010.
The side then excelled at the State finals. Here they were beaten by Sydney powerhouse St Johns Park in the semi-finals. St Johns Park is the most successful club in Australia and the home of a host of Australian and NSW representatives.
In 2018 the grade four team should be promoted to the threes, where they would expect to be competitive.
Gloucester just missed out on winning the flag in the No 6 grade this year, despite a slow start. If they are able to mount a more consistent campaign in 2018 they should go close to securing the pennant.
Around 30 players represented the club in pennants this year.
The club will play trial games against Wingham and Dungog early next year before the start of the 10 week season-proper on Saturday March 3.
Zone 11 secretary Bruce Elliott confirmed the zone has received the green light from Bowls NSW to start on March 3.
Mr Elliott explained that some areas won’t start pennants until late April because of the Commonwealth Games being held on the Gold Coast. Zone 11 runs grades two through to seven, with the No 1s under the control of the State match committee.
Tuncurry Beach will be the only Zone 11 club in the No 1 competition following the decision by Taree West and Forster to drop down to the No 2s.
A total of 44 teams will contest the zone’s grades next year, which is on par with 2017. Gradings should be finalised this month.
Meanwhile, Gloucester women were represented in grades three and five this year with grade five winning the district flag and grade three the runners up. This was another fine achievement following a few disappointing years with the last success being in 2010.
In 2018 the women will compete in grade four only and should be contenders for a flag.