Bowls’ winning duo can’t hide their delight.
Bowls’ winning duo can’t hide their delight.

Dynamic duo do the trick

MARGARET Eggins and Shane Gordon of the Brooms Head Sandon Club are the 2010 District Pairs Champions of the Clarence River District Women’s Bowling Association.

Playing the Maclean pairing of Maureen Denham and Jean Butcher in the final at Maclean on Tuesday, April 20, Shane and Margaret played great bowls from the outset to establish an early lead.

Margaret gave her side a solid platform with very steady lead bowls, and Shane settled into her rhythm from the very first end, when she removed the opposing shot bowl to trail the jack for two. By the fourth end they had opened up a 5-1 lead.

But then Maureen began drawing beautifully and Jean was able to capitalise on some great opportunities to see them storm back into the game with a 2 and a 4 in the next three ends and take the lead 7-6 on the seventh end.

From there through to the 15th end it was a real arm wrestle, with the teams battling both each other and the elements. There was no more than one shot between the teams in this phase of the game, with scores level on three occasions.

Very precise and skilful bowling by all players typified these ends. Both Margaret and Maureen were playing lovely lead bowls, with Jean and Shane showcasing their wide range of shots. First one team would be holding, and then the other would take the shot bowl away then the first team would draw again or play a great on shot. It was a delight to witness.

As the atmosphere became heavier after a rain delay, and evening was approaching, the turning point came on the 16th end. A longer jack was rolled and this posed a difficult task for all until Shane managed to draw one close. Jean followed suit but Shane was still holding and then drew third shot. With her final bowl, Shane played onto this bowl, promoted it for second, followed through and scored three.

Despite being down on the scoreboard, Jean and Maureen played some terrific bowls and threatened in the following ends, but Shane and Margaret were able to stave off their challenge. This was in evidence on the 18th end. At 16-11 down, and now playing under lights, Maureen and Jean had drawn two lovely shots, but Shane played a bold on shot to convert from two down to two up.

From this point, Margaret and Shane were able keep the pressure applied, taking two of the remaining three ends, and run out deserving champions, 22 to 12.

The appreciative spectators, including District president Gail Cupples, were warm in their praise of both teams for a very high quality game.

Earlier in the day, both semi finals had resulted in extremely close finishes.

Shane and Margaret only just scraped home by one shot against Erica Karstens and Jean Harrop of Iluka, while Jean and Maureen prevailed by just two in their game against Lorraine Demmery and Jean Axon of Grafton.

Shane and Margaret began strongly in their semi, leading 5-2 after five ends, but Jean and Erica steadily fought their way back into the game to see a 6-6 score on the ninth. Then on the 10th, when two down, Shane played a great last bowl to go two up. They continued to compile shots over the next six ends to lead 16-10.

But the Iluka team was not to be denied and hit back again. They had a great 19th end, when their opponents had drawn shot, and Erica played a wonderful weighted bowl, took the shot bowl out and they went four up to level the scores at 16-16.

A single on the 20th end saw Jean and Erica go into the last end one up, and in a very tight head, held two with only the skips’ last bowls to come. Both Shane and Jean played skilfully, but the outcome was a two- shot win to the Brooms Head Sandon combination.

The other semi was just as tense, with Lorraine and Jean getting off to a great start to lead 9-3 on the fifth end. But on the sixth end, Jean Butcher played a delicate trail to make two shots, and from there on she and Maureen settled into their rhythm, and a very close encounter developed.

The two leads played top bowls to set up very tight close heads, while skips Lorraine and Jean were pulling off terrific shots under pressure. An instance of this was a great last bowl on shot by Lorraine on the 14th to go from three down to one up. The scores remained very even through to the 16th end, with only one or two shots being scored each end by either team and no mare than 2 the difference.

The turning point came in this match on the 18th end when the scores stood at 17-14 in favour of the Grafton side. The Maclean pairing made a good start, drawing several shots, but all efforts by Lorraine and Jean to either draw or disturb the head did not succeed. The end result was that Maureen and Jean picked up a vital five shots. So the score stood at 19-17 in their favour.

A determined effort on 19th saw the Grafton team score two to draw level, but this pressure situation brought out the best in the Maclean ladies, who toughed it out to collect singles on each of the last two ends, and score a narrow win.

All teams who entered this competition are to be applauded on what was a very high quality Championship. There were many very close encounters, including a number of one-shot last bowl victories along the way. Congratulations.

Margaret gave her side a solid platform with very steady lead bowls, and Shane settled into her rhythm from the very first end.

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