GUSTY conditions greeted bowlers for the opening day of the Zone 11 champion of club champion pairs played at Forster Tuncurry Sporties.
This did not make precision bowls easy for anyone, but by second day's semi-finals conditions had eased considerably.
The Forster duo of Brian Wilson and Martin Gosper were the eventual winners, beating the Tuncurry Beach team of Noel James and Rex Johnston in the decider.
Gordon Pritchard and Allen Rose from Gloucester took on Brian Wilson and Martin Gosper in the first semi. Unfortunately for the Gloucester pair this game was virtually over after eight ends when they trailed 1-18. Forster were far too good and went on to record a 29-10 win and book the first spot in the final.
The second semi was a much closer affair between Errol Ruprecht and Dominic Riley (Club West), and the defending champions from Tuncurry, Noel James and Rex Johnston.
Although the West team skipped out to a 9-3 lead, Tuncurry were not to be denied, and scores were soon all tied up at 9-9. Five ends later and not much had changed, scores were 12-12.
Spectators were happy, with it looking like a tight finish was looming. The turning point came on the 18th end where the Tuncurry team, leading 16-14, scored a four to grab a six shot lead with just the three ends to play. They exchanged singles and the six shot lead stayed intact with only the last end to play.
This was virtually mission impossible, and although Riley killed the end once, he was unsuccessful on his second attempt and Tuncurry were in the final with a 23-15 win.
The final had all the promise of being a cracker of a game as the two teams were very evenly matched.
Forster jumped out of the blocks, winning the first five ends to lead 6-0. They then won three of the next four ends and the lead was extended to 10-2. They were playing superb bowls and really backing each other.
This is a winning formula in any team game. Tuncurry could not let this get any further away if they were to have a chance, and they didn't, scoring seven shots to two over the next five ends to reduce the lead to just three at 12-9. But it was as close as they got.
Forster got back on track, and turned the screws, scoring another five shots, and the lead was out to 17-9. Against quality opposition this was too big a gap, with too few ends left to play for Tuncurry. Forster led all the way, and ran out 18-11 winners, and are the deserved 2020 champions.
Wilson and Gosper now held to the State finals to be played in early 2021.