State/Zone Fours – Zone 10
2016 State Fours Results
2016 Zone Reserve Fours Results
Semi-Final and Finals
Two of the closest and highest quality Semi-Finals in recent history were fought out in the State Fours at Northmead BC on Saturday, with both games coming down to thrilling last ends. The all Merrylands clash between Sean Thompson and Zeljko Trbara was tied on the 20th end after the Thompson side collected 2 shots on end twenty. The Thompson team then held game with just three bowls to come, until Paul Webb draw the absoluter with his last bowl and with Sean Thompson’s two attempts to sit the shot or trail the jack for game just missing, Zeljko and his cohort qualified for the Final. The other Semi-Final between last year’s State Champions Neil Burkett from Merrylands and the Wenty League side led by Craig Maythers was just as tight a finish. Two shots ahead with just two ends to play, it was looking as though the Final would be an all Merrylands affair, but after a disastrous 20th end that saw Wenty collect four shots and take a two-shot lead, the tables had turned, and having escaped the fire the Wenty boys were not going to be denied, picking up a shot on the last end to win a place in the 2016 Final.
Having been knocked out in a surprise loss in the first round of last year’s competition, the team of Peter Williams, Matt Phillips, Paul Webb and Zelkjo Trbara were determined to make amends and it was in that vein that they came out firing in the 2016 Final, going ahead 10 to 1 after just 5 ends through some stellar shot-making and deft draw shot play. Being nine shots behind a team of this calibre, it would have been understandable for the Wenty team of Chris Couchman, Mark Barton, Sean Nelson & Craig Maythers to just go through the motions in what many thought was a forgone conclusion, but to their credit the Wenty team kept their heads up and continued to plug away, reducing the deficit to just three shots, 9-12 behind after 11 ends. The next several ends were tight, with both teams killing ends at times, but it was the Merrylands side that was making the clutch shots while Wenty was absent the little bits of luck you can often expect in bowls, their shots just sliding away or not getting results that could have been reasonably hoped for. As the ends ticked away Merrylands score mounted and on end 18, with writing very much on the wall, a gracious Craig Maythers conceded the match to his Merrylands opponents, who were victorious 25 to 10.
The closeness of the Semi-Finals of the State Fours was mirrored in the Final of the Reserve Fours, with the lead being swapped four times during the game. Behind early 0 – 4, the Pennant Hills side of Barry James, David Leslie, Martin Billam and Gary McKeough then collected four consecutive ends to move to a 7 – 4 lead over Wayne Fogarty, Ian Norman, Nigel Gooch & Mick Moseley from Toongabbie. Pennant Hills maintained their advantage being 13 – 9 up after end 10, but Toony narrowed the gap to just one shot, behind 16 – 17 after 15 ends. Garry and his Penno boys then countered, winning the next two ends to go 20 – 16 ahead after 17 ends. The Toony reply was resounding, scoring 8 unanswered shots over the next three ends to take a 23 – 20 lead with just one end to play. All seemed lost for Pennant Hills, but two excellent draw bowls from lead Barry James and with a third added by second David Lelslie, they were still a chance at victory. When Martin Billam plonked his second bowl on the jack for shot number four, Pennant Hills held the ascendancy and the pressure was very much back on Toongabie skip Mick Moseley. Having made several spectacular pressure shots during the course of the game, Mick’s Toony teammates were still hopeful their skip would save the day, but after his first shot had slid just under the head, a slight over-correction saw him hang wide and Pennant Hills hang on to a fantastic victory.
At the presentation ceremony following the games, skips from all competing sides paid tribute to the sportsmanship of their opponents, the fair play of all involved, the quality of bowls played and the superb condition of the greens and professional hosting of Northmead BC. Zone 10 would also like to commend West Pennant Hills BC and Wentworthville Leagues club for their work in the hosting of the Sectional Play of the Reserve Fours.
State Fours Sectional Play concluded at Northmead BC, with Merrylands continuing their 2015 domination of Zone Championships, winning three of the four sections. Taking full advantage of a draw that saw the majority of their six teams drawn in different sections, the Merrylands sides led by long-time Zone representative Zelko Trbarra, Zone 10 newcomer Sean Thompson, and the 2015 Zone & State Championship winning team captained by Neil Burkett, all dominated their opposition to qualify for this weekends finals. The lone club left to challenge Merrylands for the first Zone Championship title of 2016 was the Wenty Leagues team skipped by Craig Maythers who, after a slow start coming from behind to win their first game, made a steady progression to Saturday’s finals. Semi-Final action begins at 8.40am, with the Final scheduled to start at 12.40pm, all at the Northmead BC.
In Section 2 of the Zone 10 Reserve Fours Championships, the Toongabbie side skipped by 2015 President Reserve Singles Runner-up Michael Moseley, proved too strong for their opposition in a final played in oppressive conditions, winning the section and qualifying for this weekends Final. Section 1 also meet with some extremely warm weather and was forced to call a halt to the Sectional Final, which was rescheduled for Saturday morning at 8.40am at Northmead BC. The Pennant Hills side has a handy 6 – 1 lead over Northmead after 3 ends, the winner to face off against Toongabbie in the afternoon’s Finals also at Northmead BC.