Yamba Prawn Stars at Norfolk Island: Paul and Pam Conley; Russell and Cheryl Mazoudier; and Don and Gabby Freeman. Image: Contributed.

Yamba Prawn Stars contest the Pacific Triples at Norfolk Island

A group of seven bowlers from the Yamba Bowling and Recreation Club travelled to Norfolk Island last week to contest the 2018 Pacific Triples Tournament. Gabby Freeman, Pam Conley and Cheryl Mazoudier combined to challenge themselves against a field of 19 other teams comprising bowlers of far greater experience and history in the game. In Round 1, the Yamba Prawn Star girls were confronted by a composite Ocean Shores team that was skipped by the fourth Yamba player, Denise Burey. The Prawn Stars led for 16 of the 18 ends of play but ended with an unlucky 15-14 loss. In Round 2, Goulburn proved too strong winning 14-9. The third game against Lithgow followed a similar script to the first with the Prawn Stars leading for all but the final two ends going down by 18-15. The Yamba Prawn Star girls’ final sectional game was against a Norfolk Island side that contained two Commonwealth Games representatives and was always going to be a difficult task. Gabby, Pam and Cheryl played some terrific bowls to ensure that the Norfolk Island girls knew that they were in a contest, but at the conclusion Norfolk Island were victors by 19-8. Although unluckily not winning a game, Gabby, Pam and Cheryl were tremendous ambassadors for the club and the game and were acknowledged for their dogged determination, sportsmanship and social dispositions. The women’s final was contested by the two Norfolk Island teams with Norfolk Island (2) defeating Norfolk Island (3) by 26 shots to 6. Men’s side squeezed out In the men’s division, Russell Mazoudier, Paul Conley and Don Freeman entered the competition as complete long-shots with 27 formidable teams from across the east coast of Australia and Norfolk Island also concentrating at the Norfolk Island Bowling Club. The Prawn Stars surprised everyone, including themselves, in Round 1 when they defeated Wallerawang by 18-10 and controlled the entire game. Round 2 didn’t go to plan as they followed the girl’s script be leading with two ends to be played only to capitulate to an unfortunate 18-16 loss. A reinvigorated and refreshed Prawn Stars side dominated their next contest against a composite Sunshine Coast side winning by 21-7 and taking temporary lead in their section. A progressive record of two wins and a loss from the first three games meant that another two wins in the remaining three rounds would guarantee the Prawn Stars an unlikely place in the finals. The game against Norfolk Island went mainly to plan and with one end to play the Prawn Stars were ahead by 15 shots to 11. However, in a dramatic final end, Norfolk Island collected four shots to force a draw. South Tamworth proved too strong in the next match clouting the Prawn Stars 17-8. A quick mathematical check of the master board resulted in the situation where the Prawn Stars needed to defeat North Tamworth by a margin of ten shots to sneak through to the quarter-finals. Maz, Paul and Don played their best game of the tournament to win the contest by 16-9, but failed by three shots to advance to the quarter-finals. The men’s final was won by Ocean Shores (on the back of their NSW grade two pennant success) by 20 shots to 19 over Norfolk Island in a drama filled and extremely entertaining contest. Don Freeman