After delays due to the ongoing wet weather Tuross Head Men’s Bowls were able to hold the semi-finals of the 2021 Triples Championship. The weather on the day was perfect and the green played well despite the amount of wet weather. Both semi-finals proved to be very exciting games of quality bowls. The closeness of the games was reflected on both rinks and after 20 of the 25 ends to be played both games were level at 17 all!
Des Jackson, Col Fletcher and Marcel Kors played Mick Challice, Alan McLeod and Doug Williams in a game that had major momentum swings. Kors started well and lead 8 -2 after 4 ends. Despite Williams fighting back, Kors was able to build on the lead and looked comfortable at 17 – 12 after 18 ends.
Williams, with McLeod playing a major role, then turned the game around so that by the 23rd end he had grabbed a 20 – 17 advantage. Kors then struck back with 3 shots on the second last end to see the teams in a one end play off at 20 all. Jackson and Fletcher gave Kors the advantage but a great bowl from McLeod saw him give his side the shot with only the skips to play. With his last bowl Kors was able play into his team mates’ bowls and move one of them so it was now shot. Williams was required to play a miracle bowl to snatch victory but he was unable to do so. Jackson, Fletcher and Kors moved into the final with a hard fought 21 – 20 victory.
In the second game Peter Macdonald, John Fahey and Joel Hilliard played Len Downie, Noel Downie and John Monks. This game was close throughout but also marked by momentum swings. Monks trailed early and after 7 ends Hilliard lead 7 – 4. However, Monks won the next 6 ends to move to a 12 – 7 advantage. It was then Hilliard’s turn to make a move and by the 19th end he led 17 – 14. Monks regained the lead at 18 – 17 after winning the next 2 ends.
The final four ends were very tightly contested and either side could have won them but Hilliard prevailed on all four to win the game 25 – 18 with the final score not reflecting the closeness of the match.
A highlight of the match was the performance of 88 year old Len Downie who lead very well for his side with most of his bowls finishing in competitive positions. He was well supported by his younger brother Noel – himself 80 – who was returning from a nasty elbow injury.
The victory gives Macdonald, Fahey and Hilliard the chance to add to their championship wins for the year as they have all tasted success – Macdonald in the Major Singles and Fahey and Hilliard in the Major Pairs.
Len and Noel Downie in action
Marcel Kors about to bowl