Tuross Head Bowling Club’s defending Club Champion, Noel Downie (below), has won the right to defend his title with a strong semi final victory as bowling slowly returns after the three month enforced closure.
In the first competition bowls since the middle of March, the semi finals in the Major Singles Championship have been played. Downie battled with the rapidly improving Mick Challice for a place in the final. The first ten ends were very competitive with Challice just in front at 7 – 6. Downie then took control of the match and gradually pulled away. Challice was not having the best of ‘the rub of the green’ as he battled to stay in the game. He found Downie’s consistency very difficult to counter. In the finish Downie won 31 – 15 with the score not a real indication of the closeness of the game.
The other semi between Marcel Kors and Joel Hilliard followed a similar pattern. Kors held the upper hand over the first half of the game and was looking in a strong position when he led 15 – 9. At this stage Hilliard grabbed the initiative and won 7 of the next 8 ends to open up a 24 – 16 lead. He stayed in control to run out a convincing 31 – 17 winner. While he started well, Kors could not reproduce the form he had displayed before the long break.
The final will be a ‘battle for the ages’ with almost a 50 year age gap between the combatants. The very mature, skilled Downie will need to be at his best to win back to back titles with a victory over the very talented Hilliard. The final will be played on Saturday July 4.
The return to bowls will move to a new stage from July 1. At this point local Clubs are still waiting on guidance from Bowls NSW as to the conditions that will apply in this next stage. Until that is known there will be single entry pairs on Wednesday and nominated pairs on Fridays.