Ultimate Pennant Wrap-Up
It was a huge week of bowls in New South Wales with the BCiB Men’s and Women’s State Pennant Finals taking place across eleven venues! Read on below to find out exactly how each of the finals unfolded, and who can now lay claim to being the latest State Pennant Champions.
Men’s & Women’s Division 1
Jets Soar to Inaugural Title while Bullants Bookend Eras
The Raymond Terrace Jets have soared to victory in the inaugural Bowls NSW Division 1 Men’s Pennant while the Cabramatta Bullants, winners of the last Women’s Bowls NSW Grade 1 Pennant, bookended the eras of history by becoming the first ever Bowls NSW Division 1 Women’s Pennant winner in the State Finals played at Port City Bowling Club and Club Lake Cathie in the beautiful Port Macquarie Hastings Shire.
Warilla also secured their place in history, with the Gorillas collecting the Runners-Up flags in both Men’s and Women’s Division 1 Finals.
Cabramatta, boasting NSW, Australian and International representatives, underlined their position as the dominant club in New South Wales for women, securing their place in the final with one round remaining in sectional play, while Warilla earned their place with a strong Round 5 win.
The Gorillas got the early advantage in the final, before the Bullants took control and blazed their way to a comprehensive 51-22 victory.
In the Men’s sectional play, both Round 1 matches in Warilla’s section finished drawn – making for a very interesting final round. Warilla had the bye and had to wait and watch, knowing that the Kurri Kurri Cannons would leap ahead of them with a strong win over the Belrose Bulls. The Bulls however had other ideas, outgunning the Cannons with a strong win and leaving Warilla clear at the top of the section.
The Jets final round of sectional play was effectively a semi-final, with the winner of their match against the Cabramatta Bullants determining who would top their section and qualify for the final. In a hard fought match, the Jets took a small early lead only to see the Bullants fight back each time, before the Jets held firm in the final stages to win 52 – 48.
The Jets also gained the early advantage in the final only to see the Gorilla fight back to level terms and then ease ahead. The Jets applied the afterburners in the late stages to regain the advantage, but once again the Gorillas clawed the deficit in the closing ends. The Gorillas needed a double on the final end, but the Jets restricted the score to just one shot to claim victory 61-60.
Men’s Division 1 Final Score
|Jamie Minter, Ian Lean, Michael Smith & Matt Baus||26||18||Andrew Johnston, Aaron Spears, Jeremy Henry & Aaron Teys|
|Shaun Richards, Lachlan Freeman, Shannon Gittoes & Lennon Scott||18||20||Wayne Toomey, Eric Haynes, Jamie Mitchell & Gary Kelly|
|Tim Twining, Brendon Stokes, Josh Bell & Jason Stokes||17||22||Travis Moran, Craig Roberts, Lee Stinson & Corey Wedlock|
Women’s Division 1 Final Score
|Lisa Buchanan, Erin Swatridge, Jamie-Lee Worsnop & Ellen Ryan||23||13||Pamela Willetts, Diane Mackay, Lorraine Alaban & Leone Barnett|
|Kayla Courtin, Carmen Anderson, Ellen Falkner & Karen Murphy||28||9||Vicki Turner, Marion Skinner, Jenny Ferris & Julea Morgan|
Men’s Division 2
Going from Strength to Strength – Cabra Vale Win Men’s Division 2 State Pennant
The Men’s Division 2 final held at Cabramatta Bowling Club was a test of skill for both sides as players competed on a 17-second green in strong winds.
The Cabra Vale teams skipped by Josh Berry and Mick Harry started strongly, boasting a 15 shot margin between them, but the Indi Conlan skipped team from Ballina were 12-0 up at the same point of the match, leaving the master board tight.
After 25 ends, Indi Conlan’s team were keeping Ballina in the game, leading 14-5 over Adam Troth’s team. Mick Harry led 13-3 and played a fantastic shot to make three, only to have Ballina skipper Alf Boston return serve and make shot. At the same time, Adam Troth’s rink held a good 5, but Indi Conlan managed to sit the shot bowl making one, while Luke Jones’ Ballina rink picked up a crucial 5 to reduce Cabra Vale’s master board lead to a slender one shot, 28-27 after 28 ends.
Not to be overawed by the moment, Cabra Vale won the next five ends, restoring their lead to 39-28. Ballina kept fighting but Cabra Vale had all the answers to their challenges, extending their lead to 16 shots, 51-35 after 42 ends.
Just as the game seemed to be slowly slipping away Ballina rallied again to get the score to 51-44 after 49 ends. As the Ballina side were finding a bit of voice it was time for Cabra Vale to lift. They had led for most of the game, could they hold on for the final 14 ends?
Courtesy of some brilliant play by Troy Allard, Adam Troth, Milo Nairn and Josh Berry, the score stretched out to 59-46 after 54 ends. The game wasn’t over however as Ballina won the next few ends to get the score to 59-54 with 4 ends to play. Despite a brilliant fight from Ballina, Cabra Vale held their nerve to win 61-55 and take the Men’s Division 2 Pennant.
Cabra Vale’s Brent Norman was so proud of his team and club for their win. “It’s great for the club to win this State flag, we have been building the club and strengthening with new talented bowlers, I’m really happy for them to win. They have put in lots of practise, I look forward to them continuing to improve and the club to get stronger. It’s great to help us promote bowls in the area.”
Special mention must also go to the team of Warren Rixon, Josh McDonnell, Sean Aspel and Indi Conlan who went through the whole State Finals, and their whole season, undefeated.
|Cabra Vale Diggers||61||55||Ballina|
|Paul Crossan, Milan Nairn, Brent Norman & Michael Harry||19||15||Gregory Jeffrey, Gavin Speers, William Hounslow & Alf Boston|
|James Lucey, Jamie Thompson, Rick Lucey & Adam Troth||19||25||Warren Rixon, Joshua McDonnell, Sean Aspel & Indi Conlan|
|Ian Norman, Karl Dempsey, Troy Allard & Josh Berry||23||15||Philip Power, Graeme Hellyar, Gary Simon & Luke Jones|
Women’s Division 2
Kurri Kurri too Strong for Taren Point
Both Kurri Kurri and Taren Point suffered losses in sectional play en route to the final, which may have acted as a catalyst for their improvement in form as they got to the pointy end of the competition.
The final started out very close in trying conditions on slick Taren Point greens. Kurri Kurri managed to build an early 10-shot lead against the hometown heroes Taren Point, and maintained that buffer throughout the middle of the game.
As the match went on, Kurri Kurri continued to improve, with Jean Stevens and Linda Blayden both playing with incredible consistency, and Kurri Kurri skips Deanne Price and Sharon Sumner playing some pivotal bowls when required.
The standard of play throughout the final was incredible given the windy conditions, and despite a valiant push from the Taren Point side, they couldn’t quite match Kurri Kurri who ran away with a 43-23 win.
Deanne Price was elated and said of the win “These girls are battlers, we battled through the District and Regional final. This is great!”
|Kurri Kurri||43||23||Taren Point|
|Emma Barnes, Lindy Blayden, Ann Wilkins & Sharon Sumner||21||10||Gai Coates, Di Murphy, Barbara Hvass & Katrina Wright|
|Jean Stevens, Kim Clarke, Anneita McDean & Deanne Price||22||13||Margaret Sheean, Lorraine York, Karen Harvey & Bronwyn McPherson|
Men’s Division 3
Guyra Dominate in Dubbo
Guyra, in the Northern Tablelands, are the 2022/23 Bowls NSW Men’s Division 3 Pennant champions following a hard-earned yet comprehensive win over Taren Point in blustery weather conditions at Club Dubbo. Their convincing 71-35 victory was played in a strong cross wind, which made bowling difficult, even for the most skilled players.
Handling the conditions far better, Guyra held a 24-12 lead after 21 ends, and steadily increased this lead, with their opponents conceding defeat after end 58.
In Friday’s and Saturday’s sectional play, Sections 1 and 2 were held at Club Dubbo, and Sections 3 and 4 were played at Dubbo Macquarie.
Section 1 (Club Dubbo)
The Upper Hunter side of Gresford had three good wins to head Section 1. Taren Point also qualified for the quarterfinals courtesy of registering two wins.
Section 2 (Club Dubbo)
The strong Grenfell outfit had a clean sweep in this qualifying section. Tea Gardens and Camden had one win each, but it was Camden who moved through on superior rink wins.
Section 3 (Dubbo Macquarie)
At Dubbo Macquarie, Sawtell stormed into the quarterfinals with an unbeaten record in the section. Harden, whose team members had a 10-hour drive to get to Dubbo because of the floods, had two wins to qualify for the quarters, with St Johns Park and South Tweed Sports missing out.
Section 4 (Dubbo Macquarie)
Section 4 proved to be really tight. Guyra, Warilla and Wenty Leagues all had two wins each, but it was Wenty Leagues and Guyra who progressed on 21 points with Warilla on 18. Wenty Leagues had the superior percentage and finished first in the section.
On Saturday afternoon at Club Dubbo, and with a northerly wind making life difficult, Camden shot out of the blocks against Gresford to open up a commanding lead. Although Gresford fought back, they could not make up the deficit, eventually going down 80-61. In the other quarter-final, there was nothing in it all the way between Grenfell and Taren Point. It got down to the last end, with The Point getting a multiple to win 58-51.
Meanwhile at the Macquarie Club, big wins to Guyra and Wenty Leagues saw them into the Sunday semi-finals. Guyra ended Sawtell’s unbeaten run, winning 72-48, whilst Harden were no match for Wenty Leagues, going down 64-44.
The semi-finals were played under fine and breezy conditions at Club Dubbo on Sunday morning.
In the first semi between Camden and Taren Point, The Point held a narrow one shot lead 32–31 at the half-way stage. It was then that Taren Point clicked into gear, drawing clear of their opposition, and running out comfortable winners, 67-53.
At the mid-point game in the second semi-final between Guyra and Wenty Leagues, Wenty Leagues were in front by three 28-25. They extended that margin ever so slightly, but at the three-quarter stage, the match suddenly turned. Guyra sprang into action, winning 10 consecutive ends and putting their opponents to the sword, eventually winning 69-52.
Former Bowls NSW Chair Matt Goodwin, and Zone 4 Treasurer Steve Torrens were glowing in their congratulations to both Club Dubbo and Dubbo Macquarie, and the professional manner in which they ran the event. All players, officials and spectators were well looked after, and the staff and volunteers of both clubs are to be congratulated.
|Anthony Bull, Robert Walls, Colin Stanley & Steven Sole||25||5||Ross Murray, Simon Boylan, Mario Distefano & Michael Hamson|
|Murray Bourke, Randy Mulligan, Herbert Jackson & John McIlwain||26||15||Jim Stafford, Colin Mullen, Roger Hampson & Garry Ball|
|Ian Jacobs, Robert Moore, David Wilcox & Michael Shiner||20||15||Andrew Verdich, Rick Clarke, Paul Sullivan & John Roots|
Women’s Division 3
A History-Making Win for Yamba
Strong wind gusts of up to 50km/h made for trying conditions at Bomaderry Bowling Club for the Women’s Division 3 State Pennant Finals. Yamba were undefeated heading into the final, with Parkes scraping into the decider courtesy of a 34-32 win over North Haven.
After 10 ends, it was Yamba who jumped out to an 11-4 lead, keeping that buffer until the 30th end when Parkes picked up scores of four and two across their rinks. This catapulted the country side into a 30-26 lead at the pointy end of the match. Yamba were unphased by the moment however, as they went on to win nine of the last twelve ends to secure a 42-36 win and the Women’s Division 3 State Pennant.
In trying conditions, Yamba’s Lois Duncan was solid upfront for her skip Christine Cole, who was brilliant converting heads. For Parkes, Janette McPhee made most of the wide side, drawing plenty of shots and setting up heads well for her skip Cherie Frame.
Yamba’s manager Kaye Mason said “It’s an historic day for the ladies bowling club, bringing home their first Pennant flag. We (Yamba) were lucky to make it past the quarterfinal after a nail-biting extra end victory over The Hills.” Players and spectators alike celebrated on the greens and then again in the Bomaderry clubhouse, capping off a fantastic day of bowls.
|Lois Duncan, Monica Parker, Helen Atkinson & Christine Cole||25||13||Brenda Davies, Heather Harvey, Maureen Miller & Elizabeth Byrne|
|Julie Coulter, Marianne Jenner, Carol Ritale & Wendy Ballantyne||17||23||Marja Iffland, Janette McPhee, Rhona Went & Cherie Frame|
Men’s Division 4
The Miller Park Miracle
The semi-finals and final of the Men’s Division 4 State Pennant Finals had to be moved indoors as gale force winds made conditions on the outdoor rinks unplayable. All players enjoyed playing on the beautiful indoor surfaces that Warilla had to offer.
Both Miller Park and Tea Gardens recorded comfortable semi-final wins to book their place in the final. After a close fought first half of the match, it was Miller Park who led Tea Gardens 36-30 after 40 ends. Tea Gardens tried to work their way back into the match, but Miller Park proved too strong, running away 67-46 winners.
Interestingly, Miller Park lost two of their three rinks, but a convincing 36-7 win by Jason Preston’s team proved the difference between the two sides. The match was hard fought but played in a tremendous spirit with all players applauding the other team’s good bowls. After the game both teams gave three cheers to each other, acknowledging the quality of play.
Miller Park skip Glen Cliff commented after the game how proud and emotional he was with the win and that words could not describe how he felt. Miller Park was closed down for two years before being taken over and sponsored by the Miller Park Hotel. Only reopening on 29th December 2021. When they won the Zone pennant this year it was the club’s first ever pennant in their 65 years of existence, and now they have a State flag to add as another first in the proud club’s history!
|Miller Park||67||46||Tea Gardens|
|Chris Charnock, Keith Dicker, Darren Drayton & Jason Preston||36||7||Garry MacDonald, Col Amos, Chris May & David Perry|
|Xander Webber, Phillip Garland, Peter Martin & Glen Cliff||15||20||Robin Young, John Moore, Mark Nightingale & Mark Hair|
|Steve Ready, Ian Jordan, Grahame Dicker & Jason Stewart||16||19||Rick Islaub, Graham Reynolds, Roman Bondaruk & Douglas Andrews|
Women’s Division 4
Austral Too Good for Bourke in Decider
Valentine and Marks Point Bowling Clubs played host to the Women’s Division 4 State Pennant Finals, and after two days of play it was Austral and Bourke who were left to battle it out in the final.
After losing to Narrabri in sectional play, Austral faced them again in the semi-finals where they were able to turn the tables on their opposition and record a narrow four shot win. It was a similar semi-final for Bourke who managed a six shot win over Woonona.
In the final, Austral kept up their good form to jump out of the blocks against Bourke, and never let up from there. Two strong rink wins from Lynne Langfield and Michelle Mullaney led Austral to a 50-26 win. The match was enjoyed by a strong crowd of supporters at Valentine Bowling Club and played in great spirits.
|Terri Chatki, Kerry Wallis, Kim Ciampa & Lynne Langfield||25||10||Georgia Meredith, Patricia Taylor, Krystal Bock & Sharna Shillingsworth|
|Jo-Anne Cohan, Penny Visintin, Raewyn Chapman & Michelle Mullaney||25||16||Fiona Rankmore, Janelle Hambrook, Joan Dickson & Barbara Davis|
Special thanks to the incredible staff and volunteers across all divisions who helped contribute to this article!