Carol Ritale has taken out the ultimate title in the District last Monday at Maclean.
Carol defeated a gallant Judy Parkes in the final after accounting for clubmate Cathryn Aitchison in the semi. In both her games, Carol had to draw upon all her experience and skill to overcome a lead by each of her very worthy opponents. Judy defeated Margaret Gosper in her semi-final, playing controlled, consistent bowls throughout. It was very even early, with both ladies searching for line and weight, but after 5 ends Judy held a slender 5-3 lead.
Judy was then able to assert and picked up 7 shots in 4 ends with both the deftness of her draw and controlled weight of her on shot, to establish what looked like a match winning lead at 19-9 on 20 ends. However, not to be denied, Margaret’s determination and skill saw her win 4 of the next 5 ends. She reduced the deficit to just 4, working her way back into the game at 20-16.
But, under pressure, Judy steadied and again pulled away to take out the game 25-16. In the other all-Yamba semi, it was Cathryn who settled into her consistent draw bowling quicker, establishing an early 6-1 lead, on 5 ends. But Carol calmly pulled it back to 8-6 on the 10th. Over the next 10 ends, the game became a real arm struggle and the lead oscillated, with only a shot or two between them. Many touchers and extremely close heads made for a tense, quality game.
With the game delicately poised at 16 all on 23 Cathryn picked up a 3 on the 24th end, only to be answered by Carol’s 4 with a lovely trail on the next. So, scores stood at 20-19 to Carol on 25 ends, and from there she pressed home her advantage to take a quality game 25-19. Then, in the final Judy came out firing, and played great draw bowls to establish what looked like a commanding 11- 4 lead after 9 ends.
But from there, Carol steadied, and drew level after scoring 7 shots in the next 4 ends. She then showed her cool composure under pressure, winning all but 2 of the remaining 12 ends in the game. The diversity of her talent, playing both the delicate draw and the forceful on-shots with aplomb, was testament to her abilities.
True to form, Judy displayed all the grit and skill for which she is well known, and never succumbed, toughing it out to the last bowl. However, Carol had an answer at every turn and went on to win in fine form, 25-14, proving to be a truly deserving champion.
Congratulations to all four ladies on a fine display of bowls and sportsmanship throughout the day. It was a great treat for the large contingent of spectators who were treated to a day of quality bowling.