On Sunday 26th July the Yamba Bowling and Recreation Club hosted the finals of the Zone One Singles Championships in the Open, Senior and Reserve divisions. All winners venture to the 2015 State finals to be held at Ettalong in late October.
The morning semi-final of the Open Division saw Don Plummer of Maclean up against Kit Conlan of Ballina. Don did not allow playing against a 15 year old talent and future champion become a distraction and began the match calmly and relied upon his draw bowling strength to set a platform for the match. In the see-sawing mid stages of the match both bowlers were guilty of losing concentration as first Kit gave away a four shot end, followed by Don doing the same on the next end and miraculously Kit followed this up with another four deficit on the next end. Having regathered their composure both Don and Kit then turned on a display of high quality lawn bowls. In the end it was Don who won the match 31 shots to 29 to move into the afternoon’s final against Steve Massey of Condong.
In the final, Don Plummer established the early dominance and raced to a commanding 12 shot to nil lead. However, Steve Massey displayed his true character and abilities to fight back impressively. The next stage of the match saw both bowlers fighting hard and after 33 gruelling ends the scores were locked together at 29 shots each. The coup d’etat came on the next end with no more than 50 centimetres covering the head, Don managed two ‘shot’ bowls and declined to play his final bowl. Don claimed the victory in the Zone’s prestigious Open Singles Championship and based upon his performance in the Zone finals will stand a good chance at the state finals.
The Senior Division was contested by three of the zone’s bowling masters. The morning semi-final saw Trevor Clarke of Lismore Heights pitted against Mick Morgan of Cabarita Beach. The standard for the day was set early with a ‘resting toucher’ sitting precariously after only one bowl being played. After an even start to the contest, Mick established a commanding lead in the middle stages and look to be in control. However, Trevor fought back and challenged for the lead on several occasions. Mick showed great poise to steady and take the semi-final 31 shots to 26 in a very entertaining match.
The final had Mick Morgan up against local Yamba favourite Graham Meany. Graham took full benefit of his home ground advantage to jump to an early 12 shot to one lead. However, as is the custom in lawn bowls and fully anticipated in a zone final, Mick fought back brilliantly. The vigorous gathering of spectators were torn between watching the tussle developing in the senior final and the drama of the open final. Either way they were in the fortunate predicament of being caught between two games of exceptional lawn bowling. Graham and Mick traded shots with neither able of delivery the knockout blow. The lawn bowls master class continued for the remainder of the match at the sheer enjoyment of the crowd. However, it was Graham who emerged victorious on the scorecard with a well-deserved but closely contested 31 shot to 24 win. Graham will now join his Yamba club mates; Alan Abbott and Allan Parker (Open Pairs) and Bruce Angel and Steve Kliendienst (Senior Pairs) at this year state finals at Ettalong in October.
The Reserve Singles title was a straight final between Terry Lee of Condong and Cliff Hinton from Maclean. Cliff looked relaxed and started the game well establishing a small but important lead early in the game. However, either Cliff lost concentration or Terry found another gear and the game quickly and significantly changed. After 17 ends Cliff looked down and out trailing 23 shots to nine and apparently in a lot of trouble. In the next 15 dramatic ends Cliff showed why he is the district champion and staged an incredible comeback to trail 28 to 25 and in with a real chance of winning. Somehow, Terry managed to turn the momentum and find the last few shots necessary to claim the title and see off the tenacious Cliff Hinton. Both bowlers were complimentary of each other stating that it was one of the most enjoyable games they had contested and played in true sportsmanlike fashion.
The Zone One President, Kevin Soward, would like to congratulate all bowlers who contested the events and thank the Yamba club for their hospitality and the use of their outstanding facilities and first-class greens.