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Yamba Major Single to Helen Atkinson

Helen Atkinson is the 2016 Major Singles Champion of Yamba Women’s Bowling Club. Helen dominated the final from the very beginning, never allowing her opponent Kaye Mason, to settle into any rhythm, and thoroughly deserved her great victory. Showing great composure, Helen found her line and length from the very beginning, and had Kaye down 8-0 after just 4 ends. Kaye threatened to assert herself on the game when she got it back to 8-4 with some steady draw bowling, but Helen’s consistency did not allow it. She thwarted Kaye’s best efforts with her accuracy to steadily build an 8 shot lead by the 10th end. But just as she had done in the quarter and semi-final, Kaye was not going away, and she picked up a 4 on the next end. Then in a very even battle, the ladies traded shots for the next several ends and it seemed that Kaye’s experience might carry the day. Still, Helen was not to be denied and when on the 17th Kaye held the shot, but with just the one in the head, Helen played the perfect little on shot, took it out and got her 4 back. Yet again, Kaye fought back to be just 3 down at just 19-16. But Helen did not falter. She picked up doubles on the next two ends to lead 23-16, and was holding game on the next end when Kaye played a beautiful little swing shot and carried the kitty away for 2. Again, Helen’s consistently fine draw bowling and mental composure saw her through to take singles on the next two ends and take the game 25-18. It has been a meteoric rise for Helen, who took out the Minor Singles just two years ago in the second year of her bowling career. Since then she has also won the Minor Consistency and been part of the District Champion Triples team of 2015. It is justifiable reward for Helen’s level of commitment to perfecting her skills, and should be an example to all of us who want to improve our game. Through hard work comes this type of success. In her semi-final, Helen comfortably accounted for another more experienced bowler, Chris Cole, again drawing beautifully, and led throughout. Despite being well down at 22-11, Chris made a late charge, and got it back to 21-13. But when Chris held 4 on the last end, which could have made a big difference, Helen came up with a lovely trail to make 2 and take out the game 25-16. Meanwhile Kaye had a much tougher time against Catherine Aitchison in their semi. This game had been very even to start, but then Catherine put the foot down and bowled with great precision and success to lead 21-9 on 19 ends. But with great tenacity, Kaye was able to grab 8 shots on the next 5 ends, and despite Cathryn almost pulling off a wonderful conversion shot on the last end, Kaye played beautiful pressure bowls to get up 25-22. And the Championships just keep rolling! Thursday 18th sees the first round of the Fours. Sonia Graham’s team takes on Chris Cole’s, with all other teams progressing to Round 2 on Tuesday 23rd. One of the second round games will be played early, also on 18th, between Marj Thompson’s and Beryl McConnell’s teams. Meanwhile, Ruthie Fletcher continues as the ruling Princess of the Green for Minor Singles. She was almost run down by a determined Bev Shatte on Tuesday 9th but hung on to win 25-18, and then had to pull out all stops to defeat Margaret Durante 25-23 in a very good game on Thursday 11th. Well done Ruthie, and congratulations to the challengers. Social bowls has also been going gangbusters, with terrific turnouts. On Tuesday 9th, Lucky Rink winners were Margaret Durante, Beryl Neilsen and Judy Abbott and runners up were Gloria Davis and Monica Conlan. Judy Abbott doubled up for another Lucky Rink win on Thursday 11, when she teamed up with Jan Stamp and Cheryl Deveney, and lucky runners up Colleen Beard/Carol Casement and Denise Burey defeated the Lucky Consolation winners, Beryl Mills/Lily Medhurst and Judy Sinclair on a countback. Finally, Pennant teams have been announced and the season is fast approaching. To be prepared, players are reminded that all are expected to be in attendance for practice sessions, with the competition starting on March 8. Wendy Ballantyne