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So far Ray Downey has created 50 blog entries.

Major Pairs Finalists Decided

By | 2018-06-17T10:35:26+00:00 June 17th, 2018|Categories: Men's Bowls|

After the playing of some postponed matches the finalists in the 2018 Major Pairs Championship have been decided.

Mick Atkinson and John Monks had a delayed match with Michael Kennedy and Alan Etheredge – Kennedy was a sub for Ron Cox. Atkinson and Monks started well with both players in good touch. They established a handy 10 – 4 lead after 8 ends. Kennedy and Etheredge staged a comeback and narrowed the lead to three shots. However, a big haul of 5 shots to Atkinson and Monks on the 17th end proved to be the game breaker. They were able to control the game to take a comfortable 25 – 11 victory.

With this win Atkinson and Monks advanced to a semi-final against Colin Fletcher and Alan McLeod. Atkinson and Monks could not find their form of the previous game with Fletcher and McLeod dominating the first 9 ends to set up a massive 18 – 3 lead.

The momentum then changed. Atkinson and Monks picked up 10 shots over 5 ends to narrow the score to 19 – 13. In this period they found their form. Some excellent bowls from McLeod salvaged the situation on several ends when it looked like they would be overwhelmed.

With two ends to play Fletcher and McLeod seemed safe at 23 – 16 but the game had another turn when Monks moved the jack to pick up four shots to see the sides go into the last end only three shots apart. Steady bowls from both Fletcher and McLeod held Atkinson and Monks to just one shot on the last end and ensured they progressed to the final with a 23 -21 win.

Their opponents in the final will be Noel Downie and Joel Hilliard who survived a fright in the semi-final with Alan Skelton and Patrick Sager. Skelton and Sager had the better of the early play and had an advantage of 11 – 5 after 10 ends.

The game was then turned on its head. On the 11th end Downie and Hilliard picked up six shots to draw level and then consolidated this with 9 unanswered shots on the next four ends to grab a big 20 – 11 lead. Skelton and Sager steadied but they could not grab the multiple scores they needed to close the gap. Downie and Hilliard moved into the decider with a hard fought 24 – 15 win.

The final between Downie and Hilliard and Fletcher and Mcleod will be a good match. The next event in the calendar is the Minor Singles with nominations closing on Friday June 22.

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Stan Peck 2018 Club Champion!!

By | 2018-06-17T10:33:27+00:00 June 10th, 2018|Categories: Men's Bowls|

Stan Peck, at the fine age of 84, is the 2018 Tuross Head Men’s Bowling Club Champion after a gripping Major Singles Final against John Monks.

This was a wonderful game with incredible swings in momentum. However, while the advantage fluctuated throughout the 40 ends played, the one constant was the very high standard of play from both players.

Peck held the advantage in the early ends – Monks didn’t score his first shot until the 6th end! This made the score 6 – 1 and was the beginning of a period where the players shared the ends. Monks gradually narrowed the gap and by the 15th end the scores were locked at 11 all.

Monks then had a period of domination – on the scoreboard at least! He won 10 of the next 14 ends with some outstanding play. He needed to play some excellent bowls to counter Peck’s good play. He did this and set up what looked like a matching winning 27 – 15 lead after 29 ends.

Those spectators who left at this stage missed out on some very special play! While the standard of play from both players continued at a high level the momentum swung In Peck’s favour. He played several memorable bowls as he grabbed the advantage. On the 30th end and again on the 35th end he played beautifully weighted shots to move Monks’ closest bowl to give him three shots. In the context of the game these shots were crucial as there were only five scores of 3 in the 40 ends!

Despite his best efforts Monks could not turn the momentum. He played several wonderful bowls to limit the ‘damage’ but he was only able to win one of the last eleven ends! Peck had control and he was able to keep the pressure on with very few stray bowls. Peck grabbed victory on the 40th end winning 31 – 28!!

It was fitting Championship final that started in dull, grey conditions and finished in bright sunshine. Congratulations to both players who played extremely well. It is the second time Peck has been crowned Club Champion and is a wonderful achievement in his 85th year. Monks was a valiant runner up. He should be pleased with his effort especially after a recent bout of ill health.

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Monks and Pecks to Battle for Club Champion Title

By | 2018-06-03T12:26:40+00:00 June 3rd, 2018|Categories: Men's Bowls|

John Monks will resume is long standing battle with close bowling friend, Stan Peck, when the two play in the final of the Major Singles Championship next week. Monks won his way into the final after a closely fought battle with Michael Kennedy in their semi-final.

Monks had the best of starts leading 8 – 0 after three ends. However, once Kennedy lost the early nerves he made a great match of the clash.

While Monks held the advantage the gap gradually narrowed. By the 16th end the score was 13 all. Kennedy was able to take the lead at 20 – 17 after 20 ends. Monks struck back to once again lead. Four shots on the 25th end allowed him edge ahead 26 – 21. Kennedy was not yet finished and he fought back to be down just one shot at 27 – 28. Monks’ experience then came to the fore and he was able to grab a shot on each of the next 3 ends to close out the match 31 – 27.

The game was played in very difficult windy and cold conditions and both players were able to manage the conditions very well. In fact, the quality of the bowls was a credit to both players given the conditions. In the end the result could have gone either way but Monks played the big bowl when it was most needed.

Peck played a key role in a very high quality game in the first round of the Major Pairs. He teamed with Jim Howden in a thrilling game against Noel Downie and Joel Hilliard. This was a very tight game with the margin between the sides never being more than four shots,

Downie and Hilliard managed to have a narrow lead for much of the game. However, Howden and Peck picked up 5 shots on the 17th end to move to a 18 – 15 lead. Downie and Hilliard struck back straight away to level at 18 all.

Going into the last end the score was locked at 19 all. In a fluctuating end Downie and Hilliard were able to pick up four shots to win the game 23 – 19. The margin did not reflect the closeness of the game.

Col Fletcher starred in his game with Alan McLeod against Des Jackson and Peter Wood. He handled the difficult conditions extremely well and played several critical bowls. Jackson and Wood held an early advantage leading 10 – 5 before they dropped 6 shots on the 7th end. Fletcher and McLeod consolidated their position and moved to a 24 – 12 lead. Despite a good fightback, Jackson and Wood could not close the gap. Fletcher and McLeod won 25 – 18.

In another pairs match Alan Skelton and Patrick Sager proved too good for Ian Wratten and Ray Downey. Sager had an excellent match. On several occasions he was able to play a key bowl to win an end for his side. Skelton and Sager set up an early 10 – 0 advantage and were able to control the game. They ran out convincing winners 22 – 10.

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Stan Peck Makes It Into Another Singles Final!

By | 2018-05-27T08:00:52+00:00 May 27th, 2018|Categories: Men's Bowls|

Veteran Tuross bowler, Stan Peck, has won his way into yet another Club Major Singles Championship Final with a masterly display in his semi final against John Fahey.

The match was played in ideal conditions with the green playing beautifully. Over 37 ends the two players put on a real show for those there to watch. Fahey started well but after leading 5 – 2 he had to watch the first burst of brilliance from Peck who won the next 8 ends to move to a 13 – 5 lead. In this spell Peck was forced to play several bowls to ‘save’ the situation.

Fahey, who was also playing excellent bowls, gradually clawed his way back into the match. The quality of the draw bowling from both players was of the highest standard. The closeness of the tussle was such that a score of more than one shot an end was a rarity.

By the 25th end Fahey managed to grab the lead for the first time in 15 ends when he moved to the front at 19 – 18. The players shared the ends as the score crept to 22 all when Peck played a very telling bowl. Holding a couple of shots Peck used his last bowl to move Fahey’s closest bowl enabling him to pick up a crucial 4 shots.

To his credit Fahey maintained his composure and narrowed the score to 27 – 26. Again it was anyone’s game. However, Peck played some great bowls in the next three ends to close out a 31 – 26 victory.

It was a wonderful match with both players giving an outstanding display of high class draw bowling, As well as Fahey played, it always seemed that Peck had his measure. It was a great effort from the 84 year old who has had a resurgence in his bowls since he has mastered the use of a bowling arm. He now awaits the result of the remaining semi between John Monks and Michael Kennedy to see who he battles for the Club Championship!

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Men’s Bowling Club’s May Carnival

By | 2018-05-10T13:46:21+00:00 May 10th, 2018|Categories: Men's Bowls|

Despite a drop in entries, Tuross Head Men’s Bowling Club has conducted another very successful May Carnival. As usual local businesses have been very supportive in their sponsorship. A big thanks to Hallmark Real Estate, AMH Automotive Group, Platinum Blinds and Awnings and Tuross Pharmacy for their ongoing generous support.

As with all events we run we are very grateful for the wonderful support from the Tuross Head Country Club – the greenkeepers, bar staff and administrative staff all do whatever they can to make the carnival a success.

This year the local members have been very supportive and have rallied to boost the numbers. Unfortunately we had to cancel the fifth day – the mixed medley – due to the low level of entries. It was great to see that local players figured in the prize money on every day!!

The carnival started with a mixed pairs event with visitors Jan and John Roche coming first. Locals Lorraine Wake and Michael Kennedy came second in front of Dalmeny’s Pat Barkham and Barry Lymbery. Best last game went to locals Sharron Perry and Joel Hilliard.

The Hallmark Real Estate Open Pairs was the first of several successful days for Bodalla’s Paul Vanda and Matthew Morton. They edged out locals Peter Bird and Stuart Graham. Other locals, Peter Macdonald and John Monks, filled third place and Jim Howden and John Fahey had the best last game.

Barry Lymbery continued his good week when he teamed with Mila and Terry Knudson to take out the Open Triples sponsored by Platinum Blinds and Awnings. Locals Ray Downey, Peter Bird and Jason Hossack came next ahead of another local team of Michael Kennedy, Lorraine Wake and Allan Etheredge. Danny Thomson, Matty Morton and Paul Vanda had the best last game.

The AMH Automotive Group’s Men’s Pairs finished the Carnival with Danny Thompson and Paul Vanda edging out Moruya’s Brad Larkin and Bodalla’s Shane Cooper. Barry Lymbery and Terry Knudson added to their winnings coming in third. Stuart Graham and John Monks had the best last game.

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Singles Semi-Finalists Determined

By | 2018-05-06T08:39:20+00:00 May 6th, 2018|Categories: Men's Bowls|

The semi-finalists in the 2018 Major Singles Championship have been determined. In the last of the round two matches John Monks had a very impressive win over Joel Hilliard while Julian Penny held off a rousing fightback from Ray Downey to progress.

Often a slow starter in singles matches, Monks was quickly out of the blocks in his clash with Hilliard. The in-form Hilliard struggled to match the consistency of Monks’ play with the latter opening up a good 12 – 5 lead. Hilliard slowly clawed his way back into the game and narrowed the gap to 2 shots before Monks again moved away. From 13 – 11 the score went to 24 – 18 in Monk’s favour. Monks then powered to a 31 – 18 victory winning the next 6 ends.

Penny and Downey traded the lead in the earlier part of their game before Penny grabbed the advantage. In a telling period of domination Penny went from a 12 – 10 lead to 24 – 11 and in sight of victory. Downey then started a fightback which included two ends when he grabbed all 4 shots available. He was able to narrow the score to just 1 shot at 28 – 27 with the game right in the balance. As often happens, Downey then faltered at the most crucial moment playing some poor shots to see Penny close out the game 31 – 27 and set up a match with fellow octogenarian Stan Peck!!

And what a match they had. Penny continued his good form and held the advantage from the start. He won all but 4 of the first 14 ends and set up a good 20 – 11 lead. The only downside of this was that Peck kept in touch with 3 big scoring ends. Peck closed the gap to 20 – 16 and a real battle started as the players traded ends. Penny maintained his lead but Peck was reducing the margin.

On the 29th end Peck grabbed the lead for the first time in the match! On the back of winning 4 ends in a row he moved to 28 – 27. With all of the momentum Peck was able to hang onto the lead and won 31 – 28.

Monks continued his fine vein of form when he clashed with old rival Noel Downie. Downie won the first two ends but then Monks won the next 9 ends to create a 13 – 4 advantage. Monks was right on his game and he was able to match most things that Downie threw at him. He maintained a comfortable lead throughout and ended up winning 31 – 18.

Michael Kennedy and Alan McLeod had a great tussle in their game. The scores were close throughout the clash that lasted for 37 ends. McLeod held a slender advantage early, managing to keep his head in front but by the 20th end Kennedy was in front 17 – 16.

The scores remained very close as the players shared the ends. They were locked at 26 all after 32 ends before McLeod edged ahead to 29 – 26. Then Kennedy struck. He won the 36th end by a shot to move to 29 -27 and then, on what turned out to be the last end he was able to pick up all four shots to grab a hard fought 31 – 29 win.

John Fahey and Peter Wood played in the final quarter final and the end result does not reflect the closeness of the match and the quality of the bowls. The first 11 ends were very close with both players playing well. Fahey had a slight 10 – 8 advantage at this stage. From here, however, he started to dominate the scoreboard though the actual heads were tight. Wood was very unlucky on several occasions as he just missed with crucial bowls. Fahey ended up recording an impressive 31 – 13 victory.

In the semi-finals Stan Peck will play John Fahey while Michael Kennedy plays John Monks.

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Week 2 of Club Major Singles Championship

By | 2018-04-29T13:28:52+00:00 April 29th, 2018|Categories: Men's Bowls|

Further matches in the Major Singles Championship have been completed over the last week with some exciting matches and outstanding play. Noel Downie completed his first two round matches grabbing the scalps of two very tough opponents. In his first round clash he played Stuart Graham. Though down on confidence in recent weeks he started well and moved to a 16 – 6 lead after fourteen ends. Graham seized the momentum winning five ends in a row to close the gap to 16 – 12. However, Downie showed his class to regain control and take the match 31 – 19.

Form player Joel Hilliard took on Michael Atkinson in their round 1 match and didn’t have it all his own way. After 19 ends of very tight bowls the two were tied at 13 all. Hilliard started to move away at this point but it took him another 13 ends to secure a place in round 2 with a 31 – 17 victory.

Noel Downie had another difficult game when he was drawn to play former champion, Bruce Lidbury in round 2. After a very tight start to the game, Lidbury was the first to make a break when he led 13 – 8. Downie quickly turned things around picking up 9 shots in four ends to move to 17 -13. From this point he controlled the game and won 31 – 19.

Peter Wood and Des Jackson had the tightest match in round 2. With his confidence boosted after a good win in the first round Jackson approached the game against his much more experienced opponent in the right manner. Wood was winning the majority of ends but he could not shake Jackson who either limited Wood’s score or grabbed a handful for himself. After 21 ends they were at 22 apiece after Jackson picked up 7 shots in four ends. They continued to go shot for shot until they were 27 all. Wood was able to close the game out with two shots on each of the last two ends to win 31 – 27.

The longest game was between Stan Peck and Ben Hewison. It took 39 ends for a result in a very keenly fought game. Both players played great draw bowls and most ends were decided by one or two shots. Peck was able to keep his head in front for most of the game but he knew Hewison was always in the hunt Peck was able to win 31 – 22.

John Fahey played Patrick Sager and, though in front for most of the game, Fahey was never in total control. Sager was able to play a critical bowl at vital stages to keep in the game. It took Fahey 33 ends to grab a hard fought 31 – 23 victory.

Alan Mcleod had a dream start against Ron Cox racing to an early 16 – 1 lead. He was able to consolidate this and was in total control as he moved to a convincing 31 – 10 win. Michael Kennedy also had a good win over Col Fletcher. He was far too consistent for Fletcher who was playing only his second game of singles.

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Major Singles Championship Begins

By | 2018-04-22T08:46:43+00:00 April 22nd, 2018|Categories: Men's Bowls|

With the end of the Pennant Season attention has now turned to Club Championships. The first round of the Major Singles has started with the highlights being good wins to new members and some epic struggles.

Three new club members had wins including two players who were playing their first matches in this format of the game! Des Jackson demonstrated his growing ability in the sport with a very close win over Jim Madden. The scores were close throughout with Jackson’s ability to consistently play draw bowls the difference. The players were never more than 5 shots apart and the lead changed several times. Jackson looked home when he went to a 29 – 25 lead. Madden picked up three shots to get within a shot but Jackson was able to hold steady to win 31 – 28.

Col Fletcher, another newcomer to the sport, had an easier day as found his opponent, Andrew Farrington, right off his game. Nevertheless, Fletcher showed he was aware of the tactics of the singles format in recording a 31 – 8 victory.

The other new club member to win was Peter Wood. Though new to Tuross Wood is no newcomer to the sport and he showed this in a convincing win over Lou Kozlik. Wood had the game in his grasp when he led 28 – 6 but, to Kozlik’s credit, he really made Wood fight for the final 3 shots. Kozlik won six of the next 9 ends before Wood won 31 – 17.

Julian Penny and Peter Bird took 43 ends of very interesting bowls before a winner was decided. Bird dominated the early part of the game and looked in control when he led 21 – 9. Penny then slowly turned the game around. He won 13 of the next 14 ends to grab the lead 26 – 22. Bird then steadied to narrow the gap and he seemed to have the momentum when he moved to a 30 – 29 advantage. Penny then played two wonderful bowls to close out a 31 – 30 win on the 43rd end!

Ron Cox and Ian Wratten played a game that featured swinging fortunes. Cox dominated early racing to a 17 – 4 lead before Wratten took over to grab a 19 – 17 advantage! It was then Cox’s turn and he moved to a 24 – 19 lead before the two traded the ends before Cox managed to prevail 31 – 25.

Alan McLeod had to hold off a determined finish from Alf Winch before winning their clash 31 – 25. Mcleod had the upper hand for much of the game and looked home at 28 – 19. Winch made him struggle for the last 3 shots winning 5 of the next 8 ends.

John Fahey and Peter Macdonald had a great battle in their clash. The scores fluctuated throughout. After 23 ends they were locked at 17 all before Fahey gradually asserted himself on the game. It took him another 14 ends to record a hard fought 31 – 24 win.

Ben Hewison once again showed his great natural ability in one of his rare appearances on the green – restricted by his work and family commitments. He dominated the earlier ends of his game with Joe Cremona setting up a strong 21 – 6 lead. Cremona showed his usual grit as he tried hard to get back into the match but Hewison was too consistent and ended up winning 31 – 21.

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Pennant Season Ends

By | 2018-04-15T12:28:46+00:00 April 15th, 2018|Categories: Men's Bowls|

The 2018 Pennant season drew to a close on Saturday with the two Tuross Head sides involved in familiar, albeit ultimately disappointing, matches. The Grade 5 side went down to Dalmeny at Dalmeny while the Grade 7 lost at home to Braidwood. To add to the woes the windy conditions added to the frustrations for the players.

The Grade 5 game looked like being a real blowout as Dalmeny raced to a big lead on the master board. As the games progressed the Tuross teams fought back and narrowed the margin. John Fahey’s four struggled early but gradually gained control through some excellent play by Michael Kennedy and John Fahey. On the 19th end Fahey played a crucial bowl. His team was in real bother but with his last bowl he managed to disturb the head and turn a five shot deficit into a three shot advantage! They won their rink 23 – 15.

Joel Hilliard topped off an excellent season with another starring performance to guide his team to a 22 – 15 win. A poor 7th end allowed Dalmeny to gain four shots and take the lead for the first time in the match. Tuross steadied and by the 13th end led 12 – 9 only to drop another 4 on the 14th end to surrender the lead!

With the help of Alan McLeod, Hilliard struck back immediately with four shots on the 15th end and another two on the 16th end to gain control at 18 – 13. They went on to win 22 – 15.

Peter Wood had a horror start with his opponent, Alan Betts, in supreme form. Dalmeny jumped out to a 22 – 0 lead after eight ends. Tuross showed plenty of fight in the remainder of the match winning more ends than Dalmeny and narrowing the score to 36 -22.

Unfortunately for Tuross the big margin on this rink was enough to wipe out the two good results on the other two rinks. Dalmeny won 66 – 57 and picked up an 8 – 2 overall win.

The Grade 7 side was hoping for a consolation win against Braidwood, the competition leaders who were assured of winning the pennant. It was another competitive contest with Braidwood securing a win on the back of a good win on one rink.

Ronnie Richardson’s side carried the flag for Tuross winning their rink. In a low scoring game they were able to keep their head in front for much of clash. They won 19 – 14.

Jim Madden’s four had a very close match with the lead changing 10 times! After 18 ends Madden led 18 – 17 but they lost two of the last three ends to lose 22 – 19.

Ian Wratten’s side found it hard to get into their game. They were down 8 – 1 after six ends and 14 – 4 after 11 ends. To add insult to injury they dropped 5 shots on the 20th end to see the final score blowout to 25 – 11 to the visitors.

The final result was a 61 to 49 victory to Braidwood. They won 9 points to 1 to consolidate their position as the Grade 7 Pennant winners for 2018.

At the conclusion of the season The Grade 5 side finished up fourth. They were competitive winning two games and just missing out in several others.

The Grade 7 side finished second. They had a great first half of the season but fell away over the last four games. It was a repeat of the 2017 season!

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