The first round of the 2021 Mixed Championship was completed on Saturday August 14 with the players returning to the Clubhouse with the news of the latest ‘lockdown’! The program for the rest of the competition is now up in the air. However, in perfect conditions for bowls there were some great contests on Saturday.

Bruce and Denise Lidbury were back to try to regain the title they had held for a number of years but were unable to defend in 2020 due to ill health. The draw did not do them any favours when they were matched against Rita and Noel Downie. This proved to be a great battle. After a tight start the Downies won five ends in a row to move to a 12 – 5 advantage after 10 ends. The Lidburys chipped away at the deficit but still trailed 16 -10 with just 4 ends to play. They picked up 4 shots on the 18th end and another on the 19th end to be down by just one shot at 16 -15.

The Downies steadied to pick up a shot on the 20th end leaving the Lidburys the task of picking up 3 shots on the last end to win! The Downies held the advantage for most of the last end but Denise Lidbury showed her class with a tremendous shot with her second last bowl to put them 3 shots up. When Noel Downie could not cut this back with his last bowl the game was over with a come from behind 18 – 17 win to the Lidburys!

Peter and Irene Macdonald also had a very tight battle with Sue and John Fahey. The tightness of the contest was shown by the 4 all score line after 6 ends. The teams shared the spoils over the next 10 ends with the game still all even at 12 apiece after 16 ends. The Faheys then won four of the remaining 5 ends to run out 20 – 13 victors in what was a high standard game from both teams.

In their first championship match after returning to the Club, Pat and John Wagstaff had to battle hard to get the better of Karen and Alan Skelton. The Wagstaffs seemed to have the game under control when they led 13 – 5 after 9 ends but the Skeltons were determined to make them earn victory. They fought back strongly to be down by just 16 – 15 after 16 ends. The next two ends proved crucial as the Wagstaffs picked up 3 then 6 shots to move ten shots ahead. They ended up winning 25 – 18.

Alan Etheredge had a real day out as he teamed with Di Challice to dispatch Margaret and Ray Downey. The Downeys held the upper hand in several ends only to see Etheredge play some magnificent pressure bowls to gain the spoils. His drawing to save shots was first class and he was able to steer his side to a convincing 21 – 12 win.

Defending Champions, Doreen and John Monks, were too experienced for Di and Col Fletcher. They were able to pick up big scores in 3 ends to make the task extremely difficult for the ever improving Fletchers. The final score of 30 -13 did not reflect the way the Fletchers played in defeat.

In the final game Carol and Doug Williams also proved too experienced for Di Newell and Alan McLeod. Again it was the ability of the experienced pairing to pick up big scores on an end that made the difference. The Williams picked up 16 shots on just three ends in the final score of 29 – 14.

The timetable for the playing of the next three rounds of the Championship will be publicised once the impact of the ‘lockdown’ is known.