Peter Davies and Joel Hilliard (below) have won their second consecutive Major Pairs Championship in a final that was surrounded with drama. The recent wet weather has played havoc with the bowling program and the Final of the Major Pairs had to be suspended twice. Then when it was fine enough to play the weather was cold and very blustery! Added to this the skip of one of the sides, John Monks, was forced to withdraw due to ill health! This meant that Noel Downie was forced to play skip and Des Jackson came in as a substitute.
The game itself had its own drama! Davies and Hilliard held the upper hand for most of the game but were forced to withstand ‘one hell of’ a fightback to claim the title! On the back of a master class in lead bowling from Davies, the defending champions were able to gradually build a lead in a very tightly contested match. The first 12 ends were decided by either 1 or 2 shots but Hilliard and Davies won 10 of the ends to set up a 15 – 3 advantage. When they moved to a 22 – 6 lead after 16 ends the game looked all but over.
Then the drama started! Jackson and Downie picked up 13 shots, including two scores of 5, to move to within 3 shots of the leaders at 19 -22 with just one end to play. Could it happen!! As the last end unfolded, Jackson and Downie held the advantage. As he prepared to bowl his last bowl, Downie was holding two shots needing one more to force another end or two to win. He took a calculated gamble to go for the win. Unfortunately for him he disturbed the head with the jack moving to give Davies and Hilliard 3 shots and a 25 – 19 victory!
Above: Des Jackson and Noel Downie - Gallant in Defeat.
The brave souls who stayed for the finish were treated to some great suspense. On balance Davies and Hilliard had the better of the match but Jackson and Downie really showed their fighting spirit to almost snatch the most unlikely of victories! Called in at the last minute, Jackson played very well. Congratulations to the Champions!
Two matches have also been decided in the Triples. In another incredible finish Des Jackson, Col Fletcher and Lawrie Riley won the last three ends to grab a 21 – 20 win over Len Downie, Noel Downie and Marcel Kors. Kors’ side lead the whole game but every time they looked like moving to an unbeatable position, Riley was able to narrow the gap. After 19 of 25 ends, Kors was in front 19 -12. By the 22nd end the lead was cut to 20 – 15. Riley scored 2 shots on each of the last three ends to snatch victory – the first time in the whole game that his team was in front!!
The other game was not as close. Doug Williams, Alan McLeod and John Monks dominated the first half of their match with Brian Currie, Alan Skelton and Allan Etheredge. By the 11th end they lead 26 – 1. Etheredge’s side fought back but could not bridge the gap. The final score was 33 – 10.