2019 Mixed Fours Champions: Terry Johnson, Jane Pearson, Brad Johnson and Julie Coulter (Insert: Greg Johnson)

The championships continue at Yamba

The final of the 2019 C Grade Singles Championship was played on Thursday evening with two of the club’s talented new bowlers taking centre stage.

Jim Marchant was hoping to go one better this year following his runner-up achievement last year and Jeff Lowndes was on the hunt his first lawn bowls title. The game was played at a very high standard and it was Jeff who settled the better and had the scoreboard regularly ticking over in his favour. Midway through the contest Jeff had established a handy 17 shots to 9 lead and looked well on his way towards victory. However, Jim began a concerted comeback at this point and actually took the lead at 18 shots to 17 and the game evenly balanced. Several more ends of score and counter-score had Jeff leading by 24 shots to 23 and the crowd was settling in for the battle to come. Jeff was in no mood for a long-drawn-out battle and rattled of seven shots in the next two ends to take the title by 31 – 23.

2019 C Grade finalists: Jim Marchant (runner up) & Jeff Lowndes (Champion)

The Mixed Fours Championship culminated on Saturday. The morning semi-finals featured two very close games with Brad Johnson and his team of Julie Coulter, Jane Pearson and Terry Johnson (substitute for the medically restricted Greg Johnson) needing all their collective experience and skill to overcome the tenacious teaming of ‘single-entry excellence’ in Mick Spence, Sonia Graham, Judy Button and Gary Taylor by 23 shots to 19. The second semi-final was also a thriller with Brad Wynne inspired crew of Kay Bruchert, Chris Gunning and Roz Moore stretching the more fancied team of Allan Marr, Noeline Smith, Joan Scadden and Graham Meany to their collective limits with Graham and his side snatching a narrow 17 shots to 15 win. The much-anticipated final between the Brad Johnson enthused ‘Family Foursome’ and the Graham Meany ‘Mean Machine’ did not begin how the large crowd had expected with the Johnson’s jumping to a commanding 13 shots to nil lead after seven ends of play. Graham and his team attempted a comeback, but were always going to find the going tough. Julie, Jane, Terry and Brad took the title by 29 – 12.

2019 Mixed Pairs Champions: Alan Abbott and Cathryn Aitchison

The third championship final for the week was the final of the Mixed Pairs Championship with Cathryn Aitchison and Alan Abbott up against defending champions, Marjorie Thompson and Graham Meany. This match-up was always going to be a battle royale with the teams evenly matched and both hungry for victory. After 11 ends of fantastic mixed lawn bowls Graham and Marj held a narrow 12 shots to 11 lead but were anything but safe. Cathryn and Alan won two of the three next ends to establish a 19 shot to 14 lead and momentum was in their favour. At 24 shots to 17 with three ends remaining Cathryn and Allan looked the winners, but again Marj and Graham demonstrated their champion qualities and took the game to the precipice club folklore by taking the final three ends and if but for some individual brilliance by Cathryn Aitchison the title would have been theirs. Cathryn and Alan took the championship by 24 – 23.