Runners-up: Marty Wood and Roz Moore (Yamba); CRDWBA Match Committee Chair Robyn McPherson; Winners: Pauline and Ray Ryan (Maclean). Image: contributed.

CRDWBA: Clarence River District State Mixed Pairs representatives decided

The CRDWBA 2021 State Mixed Pairs Championship was completed on the weekend with 34 teams gathering at the Yamba Bowling Club to decide which team would represent the Clarence River District at the regional finals to be played on the mid-north coast in July and ultimately this year’s state finals.

The championships were conducted in near perfect conditions however, the combination of warm sunny conditions mixed with the residual dampness from the recent rain periods meant that some participants found the humid environment difficult to deal with. 

A change to the format this year meant that all games would be played over 15 ends of standard pairs competition rather than the previous sets play format employed in previous years.

Saturday saw each team contest a round-robin series of matches to determine the eight section winners who would advance to the elimination finals on Sunday.

All teams had their moments in the competition and a number of sections were extremely close with the outcome not apparent until the very last bowl. Defending champions, Joan Scadden and Graham Meany of Yamba found this year’s competition more than challenging and their quest for three consecutive titles was thwarted on Saturday when they lost their first-round match against Narelle Phelps and Peter Hurst of Maclean. The quarter-finals produced four entertaining games with Roz Moore and Martyn Wood (Yamba) defeating Cheryl Johnson (Maclean) and Don Plummer (Yamba) by 16 shots to eight; Susanne Grieve and John McKay (Maclean) continued their impressive championship with a come from behind 18 shots to 15 victory over Sandra Ferro and Des Johnson (Maclean); Kayleen and Rob Power (GDSC) required an extra end to defeat Monica (Maclean) and Ian Parker (Yamba); while Pauline and Ray Ryan (Maclean) had to produce some great bowls to defeat Marissa Mutch and Alastair Preston (Maclean) 14 to seven.

Unfortunately, John McKay had to retire ill in the semi-final allowing the Yamba combination of Roz Moore and Martyn Wood to take a position in the final. However, in the second semi-final, Kayleen and Rob Power waged a private battle with Pauline and Ray Ryan that had all in attendance completely intrigued. In the end it was Pauline and Ray who were successful taking the enthralling contest by 14 shots to 11.

The final between Pauline and Ray Ryan (Maclean) and Roz Moore and Martyn Wood (Yamba) was a beauty with very little between the two teams right from the toss of the coin. Following 15 ends of classic final’s pairs lawn bowls, the scores were locked together at 13 shots each and an extra ’sudden death’ end was required to determine the Clarence River District champions.  Pauline, as she had done all match played four magnificent bowls to set up the head before Ray sealed the match with his second last bowl and try as Martyn did to take the championship with his final bowl, it was the Maclean duo who took the game and title by 14 shots to 13.

Don Freeman