2020 CRDBA Senior Fours Champions: Graham Meany, Trevor Bardsley, Bob Ballantyne and Allan Parker (Yamba). Image: Contributed.

Clarence River District Bowling Association: 2020 Championship program underway

The first Clarence River District Bowling Association (CRDBA) championships of 2020 eventually got underway on the weekend with the Fours Championship the first to be decided. Unfortunately, the weekend was disrupted due to weather consequences. Play at both host venues: Grafton District Services Club (GDSC) for State Open and Seniors categories, and Wooli Bowling Club for the Presidents Reserve championship was washed out on Saturday with no play possible. 

Sunday was a little better with play at GDSC achievable. However, play at Wooli on Sunday was not possible with three sides unable to complete the journey to Wooli due to road closures. After consideration it was decided to postpone the CRDBA President Reserve Championship to an alternate date yet to be confirmed.

The semi-finals of the Seniors Championship provide two contests of great contrast. In the match between Rex Wiseman, John Hupfield, Peter Hurst and Garry Scott of Maclean and Allan Parker, Bob Ballantyne, Trevor Bardsley and Graham Meany of Yamba, the Yamba combination played consistently well for the first 14 ends to lead 20 shots to seven with all players contributing to the score. However, at this point the Maclean team rallied and came back strongly to narrow the lead to just one shot. The Yamba quartet managed to steady themselves and regain control of the contest and went into the last end with a three-shot lead. The Maclean side held a two-shot advantage however the Yamba skip, Graham Meany, chose not to play his final bowl and accepted a final score 23 shots to 22.

In the other semi, the Iluka team of Ian Brown, Bruce Caldwell, Barry ‘Burt’ Lancaster and Brian Wakefield came back from 18 shots to four down to power home and defeat the second Maclean side of Doug Starr, Alastair Preston, Ray Ryan and Des Johnson in an intriguing game of team fours lawn bowls. 

The final between the Iluka and Yamba sides started in a similar fashion for Yamba, and they quickly established a 12 shot to two lead. However, the warriors from Iluka again found their rhythm to trail by only one after 14 ends of play with the scores at 13 shots to 12. Yamba again found a way to resume control of the match despite some great bowls from their opposition. 

Victory for Yamba was not assured with the quality of the bowls being played by all members from both sides. Then with the score in Yamba’s favour at 18 shots to 13 on 18 ends, and facing a one-shot deficit on the end, Graham Meany showed his unquestionable class and played a magnificent conversion shot with his final bowl to take the jack back to five Yamba bowls positioned just behind the head. The Yamba team then took the match by 26 shots to 13.  However, the final score line was not a true indication of the evenness of the heads, in a game which was a most worthy final and a spectacle of fine bowling skills by both teams.

The State Open category is down to the final stage with the GDSC combination of Gary Harrison, Rob Power, Gregg Maxted and Allan Knox to face the Yamba foursome of Brett Pingel, Ron Smidt, Steve Jackson and Jim Johnson in the ultimate round. Details for the final will be advised once arrangements can be confirmed.

The next championship to be contested is the pairs with nominations for all categories closing on Wednesday January 22.

Don Freeman