2022-23 State Championships Fours Wrap
Article by Ben Krikstolaitis
The fours format of our magnificent game is the one we play most often. For most of us it’s ten or more weeks of pennants and club fours, district fours and then, hopefully, state fours. So we’re all very familiar with this type of game.
This is the format that will prove the worth of a good lead, the need for the all-rounder seconds and the glorious expertise of a quality third and skip. Team play is incredibly important and tactical play is the name of the game.
Men’s Senior Fours
There was only one three game winner; Hank Sato, Wayne Anderson, George Bakulic & Julio Posadas (St Johns Park) went through sectional play undefeated with a fairly narrow score difference. Other winners were Harvey Phillips, Michael Kilkeary, Lindsay Langtry & Daryl Webster (Old Bar), Graham Crawley, Garry Moroney, Robert Mills & Kris Lehfeldt (Pottsville) and the well supported South Coast team of Luke Tierney, Allan Thatcher, Robert Black (Paul McGrath, Sub) & Lynton Riddell (Tathra).
The semi-finals would be rippers with only one shot dividing each of the teams. Tathra came from a long way down to pip Pottsville at the post for a 21 – 20 win. It was a similar story for the Old Bar team over St Johns Park who kept their nose ahead at the end, 22 – 21.
The final two clubs, each representing coastal regions of NSW faced off in perfect conditions in the comfortable surrounds of Figtree Sports. The game was brilliant and neither team seemed to be able to gain a big advantage.
Then, on the second last end, when they were down by three shots, Old Bar scored a remarkable six. It put them three shots up with one end to play. Not to be outdone, Tathra came from nowhere and scored a three to level the scores. The extra end was the loosest end played all game as the tired players succumbed somewhat to the pressure. Old Bar held on for a solitary shot and won the State Senior Men’s Fours title.
Men’s State Fours
Sectional play was an event punctuated by the success of some powerhouse clubs, Raymod Terrace’s Tim Twining, Jamie Minter, Lennon Scott & Lee Schraner, Taren Point’s foursome of Mark Willey, Kyle Hansen, Simon Lyttle & David Axon (Taren Point) and the formidable four from St John’s Park – Craig Donaldson, David Ferguson, Mathew Pietersen & Ben Twist. Kingscliff’s Stuart Miles, Chris Amos, Beau Sampson & Peter Duncan (Kingscliff) won through their section with two games and a considerable margin, showing the field why they’re featuring at the pointy end of the competition.
In the semi-final it was the Jets of Raymond Terrace who pushed past the Taren Point Power, winning 18 shots to 16. St Johns Park had a slightly easier run against Kingscliff winning 28 to 8 and earning a shot at the title.
In the final, St Johns Park came out all guns blazing to gain a solid early lead, but the Jets had other ideas with strong gameplay, consistently flying close to the jack.
Around the half-way stage of the game St Johns Park grabbed some momentum and never looked back, playing solid bowls from all positions on their way to a 22 – 13 win.
Women’s Senior Fours
It was a mixed bag of results in the Senior Women’s sectional play. Kerry Armstrong, Barbara Hvass, Kim Brough & Bronwyn McPherson (Taren Point) and Pamela Stephens, Alison Moxey, Maria Barrett & Vacie McIntyre (Soldiers Point) made it through with three wins each.
A tougher run for Charmaine Jones, Christine Rothery, Veneda Profilio & Maureen Imms (Toongabbie) and Wilma Stedman, Olive Daly, Janet Ross & Adele Pobje (North Haven) who made it to the semi-finals with two wins and margin.
The semi-finalists got straight to the point with the teams from Soldiers Point and Taren Point each securing wins to fight it out in the final. Soldiers Point prevailed over Toongabbie while Taren Point were too good for North Haven.
The final was a very close game the whole way until the final five ends. Soldiers Point kicked ahead at the pivotal moment to win 24 shots to 16.
Women’s State Fours
The four section winners in the Women’s State Fours were convincing to say the least, with each of the four semi-finalists winning their way through with a perfect record.
All four teams with some kind of story. The Forster team of Robin Condello, Colleen Starr, Joan Thomas & Sarah Boddington (Forster) were familiar with the greens having already featured in other finals matches earlier in this State Championships.
Jill Morris, Marie Comerford, Patrica Pollard & Coral Nathan from Pottsville went through on the back of amazing team play, brilliant leading by Jill Morris and Coral Nathan cleaning up all comers with a magnificent display of draw bowling.
The star-studded team of Jamie-Lee Worsnop, Ellen Falkner, Ellen Ryan & Karen Murphy from Cabramatta survived a heavy challenge from St Georges Basin (Janette Pigg, Leanne Darcy, Deion Thurston & Sue Moore) but ended up winning by the barest of margins 20-19.
Sharon McReynolds, Charlotte Hayman, Genevieve Delves & Natasha Van Eldik (Raymond Terrace) dominated their section with convincing wins, ensuring another finals appearance for Genevieve Delves and Natasha Van Eldik in the process.
It was a different story in the semi-finals however, with the Jets coming up against Cabramatta. The bullants side were in fine touch, overcoming their opponents with a big win and earning their place in the final.
The other semi-final was a far closer affair. The Pottsville team threw everything they had at Sarah Boddington’s Forster crew and it took the final bowl of the match to secure Forster’s spot in the final.
Winning any State title is difficult, particularly so when facing a team that contains Australian champions, Commonwealth Games medalists, Jackaroo squad members, Jackaroo coaches and the mighty Karen Murphy. Forster fought valiantly throughout, but in the end the Cabramatta team claimed a solid 24-9 victory.
Open Reserve Fours
All of the sections were close but the teams that won through in this section were primed for the semi-finals. Gregory Best, Stephen Sinclair, Greg Evans & Robert Watmough (Birrong Sports) won on a countback after tying on 2 wins and 11 shot score difference with Rohan Stocker, Peter Bryant, Bernie Rooke & Allan Trevithick (Gymea).
The other three teams to make it through were Trent Macpherson, Kosta Mitskof, Mark Hennen & Tony Trad (Figtree), Murray O’Bryan, Peter Hutchinson, Darren White & Peter Guthrie (Malua Bay) and John Flanagan, Mark New, Scott Wholohan & Peter Willis (Port City).
The semi-finals were an exciting pair of games with the evenly matched teams from Malua Bay and Port City fighting it out until the final few ends. Malua Bay just taking it in the end 20-15.
The home club team from Figtree Sports got over Birrong Sports by a solitary shot and won through to the final by the skin of their teeth.
In the final, the local side picked up where they left of in the semi-finals, playing brilliantly against Malua Bay. Motivated by the cheers and of their excited local crowd, the Falcons managed a win over Malua Bay 20 – 16. They enjoyed their new State title well into the night at their wonderful club and even promised to return on Monday to continue the celebrations.
Congratulations to our latest State Fours champions!
Senior Women’s Fours Runners Up – Kerry Armstrong, Barbara Hvass, Kim Brough & Bronwyn McPherson (Taren Point)
Women’s Fours Runners Up – Forster Bowling Club, Robin Condello, Colleen Starr, Joan Thomas & Sarah Boddington.
Womens Fours Winners – Jamie-Lee Worsnop, Ellen Falkner, Ellen Ryan & Karen Murphy (Cabramatta).
Senior Women’s Fours Winners – Pamela Stephens, Alison Moxey, Maria Barrett & Vacie McIntyre (Soldiers Point)
Men’s Senior Fours Runners Up – Luke Tierney, Allan Thatcher, Robert Black (Paul McGrath, Sub) & Lynton Riddell (Tathra)
Senior Men’s Fours Winners – Harvey Phillips, Michael Kilkeary, Lindsay Langtry & Daryl Webster (Old Bar)
Mens Fours Runners Up, Raymond Terrace Jets – Tim Twining, Jamie Minter, Lennon Scott & Lee Schraner (Raymond Terrace)
Mens Fours Winners from St Johns Park – Craig Donaldson, David Ferguson, Mathew Pietersen & Ben Twist.
Open Reserve Runners Up – Murray O’Bryan, Peter Hutchinson, Darren White & Peter Guthrie (Malua Bay)
Open Reserve Fours Winners – Trent Macpherson, Kosta Mitskof, Mark Hennen & Tony Trad (Figtree)
Note: Player names on photos are listed in position order.