The 2020 Mixed Championship has decided with some great games played throughout the final series.
The quarterfinals started with a high standard, low scoring match between John and Sue Fahey and Doreen and John Monks. John Monks showed all of his skills in a match winning performance. On several ends the Faheys looked to have the advantage only for Monks to play the winning bowl. The Monks led early but by the 13th end the scores were locked at 9 all. The lead changed over the next 7 ends but after the regulation 21st end the scores were locked at 14 all. On the extra end the Faheys again looked the likely winners until John Monks once again played the key bowl! The Monks won 15 – 14.
Diane and Colin Fletcher played Michael and Di Challice in their quarter final. They had to fightback from a slow start. After 9 ends the Challices had a 10 – -3 advantage. The 10th end turned the game when the Fletchers picked up 6 shots. With the confidence they gained from this the Fletchers pushed on to a 20 – 12 lead after 19 ends. The Challices showed some fight at the end of the game but they could not bridge the gap. The Fletchers won 20 – 16.
Sue Hutcheson and Ivan Balentovic continued their good form with a very impressive upset victory over Gail Page (subbing for Rita Downie) and Noel Downie. Hutcheson and Balentovic controlled the game from the outset and never allowed their more experienced opponents to grab the upper hand. Both Hutcheson and Balentovic played some fantastic bowls. They held off a late flurry to win 22 – 16. Peter and Irene Macdonald proved too strong for Karen and Alan Skelton in the last quarter final winning 25 – 12.
The Fletchers played the Macdonalds in one semi-final. The Macdonalds had the better of the first half of the game despite dropping ‘a 5’ on the 6th end. After 11 ends they lead 16 – 12. The Fletchers then gained the momentum they needed. They won the next 5 ends to be ahead 22 – 16 after 16 ends. They were able to defend their lead as the Macdonalds won 4 of the remaining 5 ends. However, the Fletchers were able to limit the number of shots they conceded on these ends and won 23 – 21. In the other semi-final the Monks ended the great run Hutcheson and Balentovic had in the Championship. In this game Doreen Monks demonstrated that she has really mastered the use of the bowling arm with an outstanding display of lead bowling. She was able to control the game and they moved into the final on the back of a dominant 29 – 9 victory.
The final between the Monks and the Fletchers was a clash between a pair with years of experience and a pair relatively new to the game. Continuing their outstanding form, the Monks had a flying start and quickly raced to a 17 – 1 lead after 7 ends. To their credit the Fletchers never stopped trying and won half of the remaining ends but they were never in the position to narrow the gap. The Monks were deserved winners of the title. They combined beautifully throughout the Championship.
While well beaten in the Final, the Fletchers also deserve to be congratulated on the way they played. They had a couple of very impressive wins and showed how much their bowls have improved in the short period they have been playing! An interesting side note is that Diane’s sister Denise Lidbury, had played in the final of this event in the last nine years with a great record. She was the winner 7 times, the last 4 playing with husband Bruce!