2019 Brooms Head Cup winners: Greg Johnson, Jake McHutchison and Peter Forrester. Image: contributed

Yamba men’s lawn bowls: Major/Minor Pairs Champions decided

The 2019 Major/Minor Pairs Championship has been played and won. On Sunday the semi-finals and final of the 2019 Major/Minor Pairs Championship were decided in testing conditions.

In the first semi-final Jake McHutchison and Brad Johnson found themselves in a tight tussle with Mick Stamp and Steve Butler and after 14 unforgiving ends, Jake and Brad held a narrow one-shot advantage, 17-16. However, at this point the scoring dried up for Mick and Steve with Brad taking control over the final few ends to steer his side to victory by 29-16. In the other semi-final, the crowd could sense an upset with Bob Gunning and Greg Johnson leading the fancied combination of Keith Smith and Alan Abbott by 18-17 with only four ends to play. However, again the experience of the opposition skip came to the fore with Alan Abbott displaying the battery of shots available from within his arsenal of lawn bowls weapons to take control and ensure a 24-18 victory.

The final began in typical fashion, with neither side prepared to give ground or show any signs of weakness. After five ends the scores were level at five shots each. But this is where Keith and Alan took control, pressing the scoreboard to the point where after 11 ends they held a 17-6 advantage. Brad again displayed his class and experience when he and Jake rallied to take four of the next five ends to narrow the gap and again place the outcome of the game in some doubt. At this point the unassuming game hero, Keith Smith, showed his worth and played some magnificent lead bowls down the home stretch to nullify any challenge while setting the platform for a great team victory. The final result was a 22-17 win for Keith Smith and Alan Abbott to reclaim the title they last held in 2017.

To cap off a reasonably successful weekend of lawn bowls for both Jake McHutchison and Greg Johnson, on Saturday they teamed with Peter Forrester and tasted victory at Brooms Head when they won the 2019 Brooms Head Cup triples tournament, being the only unbeaten team during the day. All three played exceptionally well during the day with Jake delivery a particularly stirring and emotional victory speech at the presentation.

Don Freeman

2019 Major/Minor Pairs Champions: Alan Abbott & Keith Smith. Image: contributed