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Pairs finalists Col Lindsay (Yamba), Jayson Pinnock (Maclean), John Nash (Maclean) and Graham Meany (Yamba). Image: Contributed

Zone 1 South Area Championships 2021 finally conclude

After a Covid affected season 2021, Bowls NSW changed our season of play to a financial year calendar, allowing 2021 championships to be completed up to June 30, 2022.

We conducted our area Champion of Champions singles & pairs events over the last three weeks. This is a culmination of Club Champions in the disciplines who come together to play for Area Champion and move on to Zone finals in March to qualify for state playoffs.

This is also the last time we will see an Area Champion with the change in format for season 2022/23 with Club Champions moving straight to state level.

The pairs discipline was hosted by Maclean on February 5-6 and in Round 1 matches the local team of John Nash & Jayson Pinnock kicked off their campaign with a solid 30-11 victory over Red Rock.

The GDSC team of Mark Andrews & Mark Walsh played against the Brooms Head legends in Reg & Sparra. GDSC jumped out to a commanding 10+ shot lead early on but as it came down to the final end, the Brooms Head team had a chance to win it with their last bowl. In the end it was GDSC who were victorious 22-20

The semifinals on Sunday morning saw Maclean up against GDSC & Iluka v Yamba after both teams had first round byes.

It was GDSC who opened an early advantage 5-0 and were playing solidly. But it was the Maclean team who soon found their rhythm with some superb leading by John and opened a lead and were never headed. Maclean were victorious 24-14.

In the other semifinal it was the Yamba pairing of Col Lindsay & Graham Meany who started well and continued with consistent bowls to overcome the Iluka pair of Richard Miller & Barry Lancaster 22-9.

The final was set with a familiar Yamba v Maclean match. And it was Yamba who had the best of the beginning picking up a three on the first end then Maclean getting a four on end two. Yamba rattled off the next six ends to lead 11/4 with Maclean getting a three on End 9 to be an 11-7 score line in favour of Yamba. The next two ends belonged to Yamba with a three & two to take a commanding 16-7 lead at the halfway point. It was like a second half turn around with Maclean getting a five & three then dropping a two with the score in favour of Yamba 18-15. Maclean then knuckled down and got the better of the hard gusty windy conditions and did not lose another end to win 30-18.

Congratulations to John Nash & Jayson Pinnock, they now move on to the Zone finals in Alstonville on Sunday March 13.

The singles were hosted by Iluka on February 19-20.

In Round 1 Macleans Doug Starr, played local champion, Iluka’s Greg Donsworth, in a rain interrupted affair. Greg proved too strong in a tight match, which saw Doug make a big comeback to eventually go down 31-26 to the Iluka local.

In the other Round 1 match it was the Grafton derby with GDSC’s Mark Walsh who only recently competed in the pairs discipline, come up against South Ex’s Laurie Preston. Marks consistency proved too good for Laurie winning 31-10.

In semifinal one, Wooli’s Ron Forder was up against Brooms Head Mick Charters. Ron had the better of the green and tricky conditions in a tight affair that saw him winning 31-24.

In semifinal two, GDSC v Iluka in a match that was set up to produce amazing bowls. It was tight early with both players trading shots, but it was Mark from GDSC who opened a lead midway through the match with amazing draw play and finesse. Greg was not about to let it go easy in front of his home crowd and played some clutch bowls to claw back in striking distance. In the end, Marks early ascendency proved too much to chase down and he ran out 31-24 victor.

The final saw a tight score early on with the lead swapping a number of times but in favour of Ron 6-4. At this point Mark went back to his ultra-consistent self and gained a 16-9 lead. Mark was never headed, despite Ron fighting hard and missing narrowly many times.

Mark was crowned champion 31-15. Mark will now move on to the Zone finals on March 20 at South Lismore.

Jayson Pinnock