The victorious CRDBA Schipp Shield and Schipp Cup representatives. Image: contributed

Clarence River District Bowling Association: Continued Success for Clarence Bowlers in 2019

Last year the Clarence River District Bowling Association (CRDBA) created history when it captured both the Schipp Shield and Schipp Cup trophies in the Zone One inter-district competition. On Sunday the cream of the Clarence bowlers journeyed to Mullumbimby with defending the trophies upmost in the minds. Representatives from six of the eight clubs made the trip in an impressive selection of lawn bowls talent. However, success in 2019 was always going to be more difficult with the other districts determined to break the Clarence monopoly.

In round one of the Schipp Shield competition, the CRDBA came up against the strong Northern Rivers – East but managed to win two rinks and the master scoreboard to take 43 – 38 win. Outstanding performances were recorded by Greg Donsworth and his team of Cliffe Vagg, Martyn Wood and Adam Hart (20 – 9) and the Tracey Jenner inspired four including Mark Walsh, Natthan Jolliffe and Phil Wrice (16 – 12).

Round two was against the Tweed-Byron District who selected the strong Mullumbimby Grade 3 Pennant side to represent the district in an attempt to capitalise upon their home ground advantage. Again, the CRDBA proved to be a force to be reckoned with taking the game by 52 – 42 with Greg Donsworth’s team again laying the foundations for victory.

The all-important third round against Northern Rivers – West also proved to be a low scoring contest but the CRDBA managed to win two rinks and draw the third to secure a solid 49 – 35 victory and to retain the Schipp Shield. Ron Wilkin and his team of Des Johnson, Laurie Preston and Garry Ireland produced a strong finish to the day taking their rink by 16 – 9. The CRDBA took the trophy with three wins and a positive 29 margin overall, second was Tweed-Byron with two wins and plus 21, while Northern Rivers East and West tussled for third place with the East prevailing.

Like the Schipp Shield, the Cup was also going to be difficult to retain in the face of a determined challenge from our northern bowling brethren. Round one against Norther Rivers – East saw the Clarence boys get off to a tremendous start capturing the game 70 – 32. Gary Scott and his team of Steve ‘Sparra’ Colley, Leith Basset and Ken Ainsworth flexed their collective muscle to dominate their rink by 24 – 8 and Garry Montgomery inspired the Maclean quartet of John Hupfield, Jim Shannon and Ross Murphy to a strong 27 – 10 rink win. The wheels started to wobble a little in round two against the Tweed-Byron District with the CRDBA suffering a narrow 46 – 37 loss. Fortunately, Bill Andrews and his Yamba clubmates of Bruce Angel, Cliff Hinton and Ron Smidt kept the damage to a minimum by winning their rink 20 – 12.

Still in with a chance, the CRDBA confronted Northern Rivers – West in Round 3 and needed a strong performance to clinch victory. Again, it was Bill Andrews and his boys who provided the basis for victory by taking their rink by 20 – 5 and set-up the 46 – 35 master scoreboard win. The CRDBA had achieved the unlikely by capturing the Cup with two wins and a margin of plus 40 over Tweed-Byron who managed two wins and a margin of plus 14. Northern Rivers – West took third with one win and a margin of negative ten over the eastern counterparts who also managed one win but collected a huge negative margin of 44 in the process.

Congratulations to all involved in the day with a particular mention to the few but vocal spectators who also made the trip.

Don Freeman