Sports

Runners up in the Grafton Services Mixed Pair Championship final Mark & Debbie Walsh (left) and Champions for 2021 Bev Murray & Allan Knox. Image: Contributed.

Murray & Knox win Grafton Services Mixed Pairs in a cliff-hanger

Bev Murray and Allan Knox are the Grafton Services Bowling Club Mixed Pairs Champions for 2021 after defeating Debbie & Mark Walsh in what turned out to be a match worthy of a Championship final.

Both teams earned their place in the final on Sunday afternoon November 28 after hard-fought victories in their semi-finals.

Bev and Allan accounted for Kayleen & Robbie Power in a game which included five ends in which either side scored five shots or more, but Bev and Allan prevailed in the end for a nine-shot victory.

Final score: Bev & Allan 32; Kayleen & Robbie 23.

In the second semi final Debbie & Mark Walsh faced Mary Firth & Greg ‘Squizzy’ Taylor.

Both sides opened their accounts early for a 2-all score line, but from then on it was Debbie & Mark who gained control winning eight of the next eleven ends, to lead 15 – 8 and although Mary & Squizzy won five of the remaining eight ends, the gap was too great, and Debbie and Mark crossed the line winners by five shots. 

Final score: Debbie & Mark Walsh 20; Mary Firth & Greg ‘Squizzy’ Taylor 15. 

On to the final between to teams ‘hot to trot’ after good semi-final victories. Bev Murray & Allan Knox to do battle with Debbie & Mark Walsh.

Debbie & Mark began well, but Bev and Allan managed to level the scores at 6 all after six ends, however Debbie & Mark sprung into action over the next six ends, winning five of them to lead 13 – 9.

It was anyone’s game with nine ends to play, and it was Debbie & Mark who increased their lead over the next three ends to lead 16 – 10, but Bev & Allan were far from finished, and came home with a wet sail over the final six ends, scoring six shots to level the scores at 17 all after the allotted 21 ends.

An extra end was therefore required to decide the winners, and it was Bev and Allan who held their nerve in a pressure situation to score two shots on the deciding extra end to take the game and the championship by two shots.

Final score: Bev Murray & Allan Knox 19; Debbie & Mark Walsh 17.

Congratulations to our Champions Bev & Allan and commiserations and well played Debbie & Mark …a great final which went right down to the wire.

Last Wednesday November 24 our club tried a new format which was discussed at this year’s AGM. Instead of our normal triples format for the final Wednesday of each month, this format would be given another ‘twist’ in order to give all our players experience at playing alongside players they might otherwise never be given the chance to play with or against.

This new format involved each team being selected by a ‘blind draw’, meaning any player can be selected in any position, with any other players who may have nominated.  Each game would be 24 ends of ‘two bowl triples’, with each player changing their position in the team after every eight ends. This means each player in the team will gain experience at playing lead, second and skip.

On Wednesday we had 24 players for our first game using this format, which seemed to be well received by those who nominated, and it is hoped the numbers will increase when the last Wednesday of next month comes around.

The winners on the day were Garry Ahrens, Michael Maher and Garry Harrison.  Runners-up were Barry Elder, Jamie Pye and Trevor Want. The ‘resting toucher’ prize went to Mitch Cook.

On Friday November 26 we had 36 players for our social nominated pairs, with the winners, Keith Garner & Ken Landrigan. Runners up were Mitch Cook & Ronny Piggott, while the Consolation winners were Tony Blanch & Paul Sutton.

Our two resting toucher prizes went to Neville Henwood on Green 1 and Ronny Piggott on Green 2.

See you next week.

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