The finalists for the 2021 Major Singles Championship at Tuross Head Bowling Club have been determined following two very interesting semi final clashes.
In a replay of the 2020 final, Noel Downie played Joel Hilliard and was able to turn the tables on the defending Champion. Though slow to start, Downie was soon controlling the game. In his previous matches in the championship he seemed to be playing below his best. However, he was back to his very best in this game. He drew beautifully and made life very difficult for Hilliard. Hilliard was forced to play several ‘on shots’ as Downie dominated the head. Unfortunately, he was not having much success with one of his signature shots.
The players stayed reasonably close for the first half of the match with Downie holding a 12 – 10 lead. At this stage Downie started to turn his dominance into scoreboard pressure. His lead went out to 25 – 12 and he was able to go on to win 31 – 17.
Downie will play Peter Macdonald in the final after Macdonald had a thrilling win over John Fahey. Fahey started well and held a 10 – 4 lead before the momentum of the match changed. Macdonald slowly gained the upper hand as he moved to a 20 – 13 lead. A second momentum swing occurred as Fahey clawed his way back into the game.
The game was heading for a thrilling finish as Fahey drew level at 25 all. The players shared the next four ends and the scored moved to 28 all. Fahey took the lead on the next head for the first time in 22 ends when he moved to 29 – 28. Fahey looked to have the next end before Macdonald played the bowl of the match. Down at least one shot he played a calculated ‘on shot’ with his third bowl and it had the perfect result. He was able to move Fahey’s bowls out of the head and when Fahey was unable to convert a very difficult shot to limit the damage, Macdonald scored the 3 shots he needed to win the match!
The final should be an excellent match with both Downie and Macdonald playing great bowls. They both will be aiming to use their strength in consistently good draw bowls to dominant the head and put pressure on their opponent!