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Zone 1 CRDBA at Brunswick Heads

Last Sunday a representative side from the CRDBA travelled to Brunswick Heads to contest the annual Zone 1 Johnston/Dignan Shield, which also serves as a selection trial for the Zone Side to contest the state finals. This contest is an ‘open’ contest with players from all pennant grades available for selection. Unfortunately this format places the Clarence District at a distinct disadvantage with the top grade in the district being Grade 3 compared to Grades 1 and 2 in the other districts. An additional problem the CRDBA has to overcome is the limited number of nominations received due to the animosity and antagonism some district bowlers have towards this event. However, the enthusiastic CRDBA side ventured to Brunswick Head prepared for the worst but committed to representing the Clarence to the best of their ability while enjoying the experience in the process. The first round had the CRDBA side up against the strong Northern Rivers – West combination which included a contingent featuring several members from last year’s Grade 1 state pennant runners-up. Alan Abbott (Yamba) and his team of Gary Harrison (GDSC), Gary Scott (Maclean) and John Luchetti (Yamba) had a convincing win 22 shots to 14; Allan Knox (GDSC) took his side of Bill James (GDSC), Alex Morrison (GDSC) and Warren McDonald (Maclean) to a frustrating 12 shot all draw; Graham Meany (Yamba) and his team of Rex Wiseman (Maclean), Doug Starr (Maclean) and Mark Walsh (GDSC) suffered a debilitating loss as did the Kerry Wells (Maclean) skipped team of Tom Cross (Yamba), Steve Fuller (Maclean) and Norm Sinclair (Yamba). The final score was Northern Rivers – West 66 shots to CRDBA 41. Round two was no easier for the Clarence representatives and although Kerry Wells and his team managed a hard-earned draw against their Northern Rivers – East opposition, Allan Abbott and his side had an unfortunate one shot loss while Allan Knox and Graham Meany could not inspire their sides sufficiently to record what would have been surprising victories. The final score indicated a convincing 64 shots to 42 win to Northern Rivers – East. The final round against Tweed Byron was never going to be easy and unfortunately the reality of the situation was quickly realised. The injection of Ray Toovey (GDSC) and Bryan Buckley (GDSC) into Graham Meany’s team had an immediate impact with Graham and his team scoring a morale boosting six shots on the first end. However, the inspiration was short-lived and the team suffered a 23 shots to 11 loss. Unfortunately all four teams were on the wrong side of the scoreboard with Tweed Byron taking the contest 73 shots to 37. All CRDBA participants represented the district well and are thanked for their efforts. However, if the CRDBA are to be competitive in future contests the best bowlers from the district must be convinced that their participation is in their interests and viewed as reward for their efforts throughout the year, not as a burden. Don Freeman