Champion of Champions Singles Winners Crowned

by Billy Johnson

Ferguson Secures First Women’s Champ of Champ Title for Engadine

Engadine’s Samantha Ferguson has won a brilliant 2022-23 Women’s Champion of Champions Singles Final, defeating Carolyn Glen (Kurri Kurri) 25-20. Not much separated either player with the final 5 shot margin the highest of the match. the Cabramatta greens were running superbly once again, allowing players the confidence to play all shots, from draw to drive and everything in between.

Both players found their rhythm early and were putting on a show for the Cabramatta crowd, producing shots worthy of a State Championship final. With the match delicately poised at 20-20, Ferguson somehow managed to step up another gear, drawing within inches of the jack with almost every bowl to place Glen under considerable pressure. Even on the final end, it was Glen who was first to the jack, drawing within an inch, only to see Ferguson sit her bowl out then play the same shot again to pick up two shots and the match.

The win secured Ferguson her first Champion of Champions State Title, going one better than her runner-up finish in 2018 when she lost to Wenty Leagues’ Lee Benson. The win is also a first Women’s Champion of Champions State title for Engadine, a club that is no doubt incredibly proud of their star player. Credit must also go to Carolyn Glen who had a brilliant tournament, which included a tough win over Sarah Boddington (Forster) who is one of the most consistent singles players in New South Wales. Glen will hope to continue her run of form as she prepares for the State Selection Series and a potential spot in the KENO NSW Senior Blues Women’s Side.

Samantha Ferguson – Winner of the 2022-23 Women’s Champion of Champions Singles

Marathon Man Schraner Makes History

We’re running out of superlatives to describe Lee Schraner (Raymond Terrace). In winning the 2022-23 Men’s Champion of Champions Singles, he’s now cemented his place in the bowling history books for many reasons. Firstly, he’s become the first male player since Rex Johnston in 1990 to win the State Champion of Champions Singles and Pairs double, joining an exclusive list of players to do so. Those who have followed Schraner’s career will know that his impressive record in singles extends beyond just New South Wales, having won State Champion of Champions Singles titles in Victoria and Tasmania. Today’s win, in his third state, is also his eighth State Champion of Champion Singles title, taking him past his longtime hero and legend of bowls Glyn Bosisto’s seven titles. It was an emotional moment for Schraner who idolised Bosisto, but the Raymond Terrace Jet is his own history maker now, and he will look towards the National Champion of Champions, an event he has already won on three previous occasions.

The final was an absolute epic, with Schraner facing off against Jake Lawton (East Maitland). Lawton had earned his place in the final playing a solid and consistent style of play, claiming the scalps of NSW U25 representative Michael Phillips (Merrylands) and KENO NSW Blues representative Mason Lewis (Engadine) along the way. In the early stages it was Schraner who had the early jump on Lawton, leading 11-3. Facing the task of trying to get back into the game against Schraner, many bowlers would have seen it as too difficult, but Lawton thought differently. Sticking to his guns, he drew superbly and with every shot Schraner threw at him, he invariably had a response. At 24-22 down, Lawton was match down with one bowl to go, and after considering his shot selection he played the perfect bowl to sit Schraner through the head and hold three, as well as match. As most champions do, Schraner responded by drawing third shot and taking the match to a last-end shoot-out. Again, Lawton was first on the jack, drawing within about an inch. Schraner again had the answer, this time with his third bowl sitting out shot with perfect weight. Lawton’s last bowl had the chance to move jack back to hold game, and he did manage to make contact, but only to see the jack jam up against Schraner’s shot bowl and remain there, giving Schraner a hard earned victory.

Congratulations to all the players from both events who competed across the four days, producing brilliant matches while representing their clubs.

Click here to view the full event results