2020 Yamba Major Pairs Champions: Steve ‘Scruffy’ Jackson and Peter Forrester. Image: contributed.

Yamba men’s lawn bowls Championships are back!

Last weekend saw the return of championship lawn bowls at the Yamba Bowling and Recreation Club for 2020 with the Major Pairs Championship concluded on Saturday, following an extended COVID-19 delay, and round one of the Major Singles Championship contested on Sunday.

In the semi-finals of the Major Pairs Championship, last year’s champions and State finalists, Terry and Brad Johnson proved too consistent for Greg Dickman and Jim Johnson taking the match by 23 shots to six; while Steve ‘Scruffy’ Jackson and Peter Forrester had to show true championship character in their game against John McGovern and Richard Skippings taking the contest by 22 shots to 16 after trailing by 16 shots to 12 with four ends to play.

The final appeared to be at the mercy of Terry and Brad and after thirteen ends this talented father and son combination led by fourteen shots to nine and appeared in control. However, Steve Jackson and Peter Forrester proved why they are considered two of the best bowlers in northern New South Wales by storming through the final ends of the contest to take the title, and the opportunity to progress through the Champion of Club Champion state final series, by 21 shots to 16.

Round one of the 2020 Major Singles Championship was played on Sunday in great style. Graham Meany and Ian Parker unfortunately drew each other early in the championship and provided the crowd of spectators with an outstanding game of singles lawn bowls. After twenty-eight ends of play, Graham held a comprehensive six shot lead, 26 to 20, and looked to be well placed. However, Ian controlled the next eight ends of play to take the match by 31 shots to 26. In other results, Cliffe Vagg won a cliff-hanger against Ray Schafer by 31 shots to 30; Martyn Wood was too good on the day for Tony Abbott 28 shots to eight; Greg Johnson defeated Bill Andrews 31 to 18; Col Lindsay overcame a gallant John McGovern by 31 shots to 27; Bob Ballantyne dominated against Terry Johnson 31 shots to 12; John Luchetti took the match against Steve Cassidy by 31 to 26; and Steve Jackson scrapped home against Greg Dickman 31 to 22.

However, the feature of the day was the upset recorded by Paul Lozelle (’The Prince of Darkness’) who staged an ambush over Alan Abbott to advance to round two with an impressive 31 shots to 27 victory built upon by a brilliant start to the game where ‘The Prince’ led by 18 shots to nine and subsequently forcing Alan to play catch-up bowls under testing conditions. Round two of the championship is scheduled for Saturday July 25.

The 2020 Major Triples Championships will be finalised in the coming weeks. The final between defending champions, Nev Hillyard, Terry Johnson and Brad Johnson and the well preformed trio of Allan Parker, Graham Meany and Peter Forrester is scheduled for Sunday August 2 commencing at 1pm.

Other club championships events are scheduled for the upcoming weeks including the Minor Pairs, Club Veteran Singles and C Grade Singles. Nominations for these championships close on Wednesday July 29 at 4.30pm.

Men’s social bowls will continue Wednesday (pairs) and Friday (triples) afternoons. All games commence at 1pm and nominations can be made by telephoning the bowls office on 6646 8669 prior to 11.30am on the intended day of play.

Wednesday July 8: No play due to inclement weather

Friday July 10

Winners: Doug Howat, Alan Reed and Ray Schafer; runners up: Brian Kay, Bill Best and Bill Williams; Encouragement: Barry Latham, Mark Bilton and Sturat Bell.

Don Freeman