Noel Coward and Joe Cocker both sang about ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ but on Saturday morning it was ‘Mad Dogs and Yamba Bowlers’ when sixteen Yamba bowlers of questionable sanity braved the inclement weather to contest the quarter-finals of the 2018 Major Pairs Championship.
In what can only be described as ‘testing conditions’, defending champions, Greg Johnson and Martyn Wood, defeated the talented team of Alan Reed and Steve Kliendienst, while Tom Cross and Peter Forrester were too good for Graeme Brown and Erik Pedder, Bruce Blanch and Bruce Angel overcame Greg Dickman and Alan Abbott, while David Atkinson again teamed with Alan Turnbull to take Cliffe Hinton and Col Lindsay out of the competition.
Miraculously the weather improved for the afternoon and the semi-finals were completed in much better conditions.
Rising stars Dave Atkinson and Alan Turnbull found a 17 shot to one early discrepancy too much to peg back and fell to Greg Johnson and Martyn Wood by 24 – 14; and Tom Cross and Peter Forrester braved a tremendous battle against Bruce Blanch and Bruce Angel to reserve a position in the final by a single shot, winning 22 – 21.
Although the score in the final of 27 – 10 would normally reflect a very lop-sided contest, this is far from the truth on this occasion. The game produced outstanding bowls from both teams with the large crowd in attendance entertained from start to completion. But, it was defending champions, Greg Johnson and Martyn Wood, who prevailed and they will now attempt to retain their District and Zone titles captured last year to hopefully have another effort at the State Finals. Although gallant in defeat Tom Cross and Peter Forrester found the consistency of Greg and the brilliance of Martyn too much with the best team on the day taking the title.
Congratulations and thanks to Graeme Brown and his team of green keepers who continue to provide our bowlers with first-class greens and made it possible for the championship to go ahead.