On Sunday afternoon, the pick of the weekend from a weather perspective, Dave Atkinson and Jake McHutchison took to the greens to contest the final of the 2021 Yamba Minor Singles Championship. This year’s championship has featured many memorable games and the final promised to fall into this category with both Dave and Jake having displayed outstanding form, temperament and resilience in their respective preliminary matches.
However, little did we know exactly what was install for the large crowd that manifested around the green by the time the first bowl was played. It is difficult to accurately and precisely put into words the true magnitude of skills, desire to win, sportsmanship and entertainment that Dave and Jake demonstrated during their final that lasted for a marathon 38 ends.
Dave established a small but not insurmountable lead of four shots early in the contest and managed to hold this for the first twenty ends of play and led 18 to 14 at this point.
Over the next few ends Jake displayed great endeavour and composure, reflecting the vast improvement in his game over the past six months, to respond to Dave’s constant barrage of telling shots with his own array of incredible conversion shots and precise draws to climb within one shot on the scoreboard, 20 to 19. Again, Dave tried to break clear and was holding match at 30 shots to 25 and three up, in what would be the penultimate end, with Jake’s final bowl to come. Jake responded and produced possibly the shot of the match to trail the jack and take four shots.
The next end was reminiscent of most that proceeded with Dave laying a solid platform and Jake countering with tremendous desire and determination. However, on this occasion, Dave did not need to play his final bowl and took the match and championship by 31 – 29.
Dave and Jake are both to be congratulated on their performances and sportsmanship displayed during the championship. Many at the club are relieved that they will not have to contest with Dave in next year’s Minor Singles now that he is promoted to the ranks of the club’s major players.
Special mention to the club’s greenkeepers Graeme Brown, Nathan Curtis and Tony Adermann who had the greens in perfect condition on a weekend that should have featured the now rescheduled NSW State Pennant finals (now September 10-12).