2018 Yamba Mixed Pairs finalists: Graham Meany, Marj Thompson, Wendy Ballantyne and Bob Ballantyne. Image: Contributed

Yamba Mixed Pairs Championship decided

The 2018 Mixed Pairs Championship was decided over the weekend with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final producing some spectacular lawn bowls and a few surprising results.

In the quarter-finals, Ruthie Fletcher and Martyn Wood overcame the determined combination of Helen and Dave Atkinson by 21-15; Wendy and Bob Ballantyne played impressively to defeat Judy Abbott and Steve Kliendienst 21-11; Cathryn Aitchison and Allan Abbott required two extra ends to gain success against the gallant Robyn McPherson and Tom Cross 22-20; while Marj Thompson and Graham Meany came from behind to overwhelm Noeline Smith and Nev Hillyard by 25-20.

The semi-finals were a long drawn out affair commencing on Saturday afternoon and resuming on Sunday morning due to fading light. At the resumption of play Wendy and Bob Ballantyne were leading Ruthie Fletcher and Martyn Wood by a single shot (13-12) after 16 ends and Marj Thompson and Graham Meany led Cathryn Aitchison and Alan Abbott 18-13 after 17 ends. The complexion of both games quickly changed with Wendy and Bob picking up six shots in the next two ends and Cathryn and Alan gaining momentum winning the first two ends to reduce their deficit to two shots. Wendy and Bob moved into the final by defeating Ruthie and Martyn by 20-14. Marj and Graham joined them, but only after surviving a last ditched effort by Cathryn and Alan with the final margin being a single shot (19-18).

Wendy and Bob commenced the final in dynamic form winning the first six ends to establish a potential match-winning eight shot lead. However, after ten ends the scores were again level at eight shots each. The remainder of the game was engrossing and with two ends to play the scores were again locked together at 15 shots each. Somehow, Marj and Graham managed to overcome the brave Ballantynes winning the final two ends to claim the championship by 19-15 in a tremendous game of mixed pairs.

Don Freeman