The South Lismore No 4 pennant side who won the Region 1 play-off in Coffs Harbour last week. They will travel to the Shoalhaven District in August to compete in the State Final. From left: Betty Reynold, Gwen Burke, Pat Lyon, Annette James, Shirley Bryant, Nola Fairfull, Elaine Anderson and Nancy Nugent.
The South Lismore No 4 pennant side who won the Region 1 play-off in Coffs Harbour last week. They will travel to the Shoalhaven District in August to compete in the State Final. From left: Betty Reynold, Gwen Burke, Pat Lyon, Annette James, Shirley Bryant, Nola Fairfull, Elaine Anderson and Nancy Nugent. contributed

Quick-draw Sherriff wins Australian Open shoot-out

IT SOUNDS like a script for Gunfight in the O.K. Corral – A Sherriff won the Australian Open singles shootout by six shots.

The final between two world beaters was more a state of origin triumph for New South Wales. Aron Sherriff (Ettalong ) beat Queensland’s Brett Wilkie (Helensvale) 21-15.

Both had won the event before – Sherriff in 2010, Wilkie in 2009. The latest effort was the second time Wilkie has been runner-up.

Played in a Gold Coast howling westerly wind that’d blow a dog off the chain.

The ends were understandably erratic but the quick-draw Sherriff, three times Australian international Bowler of the Year, was always in control.

The pairs title was won by Steven Dennis (Westlakes, South Australia) and Nathan Pedersen (Cabramatta) after leading all the way against Matt Miles (Warilla) and Chris Herden (St John’s Park).

Colour focus

DIRECT telecasts of the Australian Open finals at Broadbeach were fine – except the wild wind didn’t allow consistently accurate deliveries.

Another handicap was the similarity between bowls – viewers had difficulty deciding who owned what. It wouldn’t be fair to have finalists depart from their own bowls to use ones of differing colours provided by the organisers of the finals.

Or would it? If everybody had a bowl with the same bias it would be more a test of skill, rather than who has the skinniest draw.

Inaugural success

THE inaugural Northern Conference top grade pennant play-off at Bangalow resulted in a comprehensive 71-51 win to Tweed-Byron’s Ocean Shores over Northern Rivers winner South Lismore.

The Northern Rivers made amends in the No 2 zone final also played at Bangalow. Evans Head had a mammoth 80-51 success over Cabarita Beach.

Results from the other zone finals played over two days on Clarence River greens were: No 3 – Yamba 64 Lismore City 42, Condong 55 Lismore City 50. No 4 – Cabarita Beach 72 Alstonville 44, Iluka 86 Alstonville 41. No 5 – Iluka 55 Lismore Heights 61, Iluka 57 Ocean Shores 53. No 6 – South Lismore 68 Cudgen 52, Maclean 64 Cudgen 45. No 7 – Brooms Head 47 Pottsville 66, Brooms Head 64 Lennox Head 56.

Social discontent

A FLURRYof discussion on Facebook indicates widespread discontent with Bowls NSW’s handling of the social bowler issue.

The state body’s threat to discipline clubs that have this category has created a storm of comment.

Said a Cooma bowler: “Two out of three clubs in our district are not paying the set fees. Our district, Monaro, will no longer exist.”

A bowler responded: “I can see a lot more of this happening if rumours of the Royal fining clubs for having a social bowling membership are true.”

Another bowler said: “It’s hard enough to get members through the bowling club door let alone slugging them for something they don’t use.”

In an email, a local bowler who described himself as disgruntled and asked that his name not be used, said his club got a “paltry $5” out of the club membership fee of $96.

“What legal right has Bowls NSW got to collect my club’s $6000?” he said, pointing out that for the money paid, the social bowler didn’t get the right to play club championships or pennants and zone and district competitions and received “only a glossy magazine every so often”.

He asked: “Is there a common thought throughout the Northern Rivers to withdraw from any affiliation with Sydney and start a local pennant-style competition (preferably three-bowl)?”

MY VIEW Biased on bias

REMEMBER when barely a tournament passed without someone challenging the bias of a bowl? When did you last hear of a challenge?

Of course, there’s no grounds to challenge these days with the officially accepted bias getting skinnier and skinnier. Don’t be surprised if some manufacturer one day advertises its latest creation – a bowl with a reverse bias that runs on the opposite side of the centre line. Silly, I know, but they’ve tried everything else.

Oldies can remember the time when all bowls had to undergo a regular official stamping to indicate they were of the correct standard bias. With everyone’s bowls the same bias it was a matter of who could use it best, not who owned a set that took the skinniest track to the jack.

When bowls were stamped, some unscrupulous types paid undercover people to doctor the bias.

That led to the need for a challenge. The bowls “doctor” and the challenge no longer are in business.

It was therefore a surprise to find Bowls Australia still has a procedure for a challenge.

It provides for a minimum 12 months’ suspension plus costs for “any player, following investigation, who is proven to have intentionally altered the bias or arranged another person to have intentionally altered the bias of a set of bowls”.

What the heck are they going to alter them to? Something with a wider draw?

And does it apply to manufacturers who have made buckets of cash altering biases?

YOUR VIEW On seniors’ selection

HAVING recently played in the Zone One seniors’ side in the 2016 state interzone sides championship at Cabramatta, what a breath of fresh air and pleasure it was to be selected and represent the zone this year.

Huge congratulations to the newly-elected zone executive and selectors for the vastly improved and highly efficient manner in which the side of 12 was selected and treated throughout the selection and playing process. They have made it enjoyable again for players.

The two match-condition selection games on separate days gave selectors every opportunity to view and gauge player ability, thereby permitting the best possible to be selected.

The three trial games against Zone 11 at Maclean, again over two days, where the selected teams were able to bond and hone their skills, were most valuable and enjoyable.

The organisation of transport/travel to Cabramatta, the accommodation facilities enjoyed over the four-day stay, the support given, and camaraderie shown to players at Cabramatta were excellent and so much better than prior years.

Players to a man felt privileged and respected, so different from times in the past.

For those players now over 60 who have no longer wished to play for the zone because of previous experiences, I say come back to the fold, things are different now.

A Zone One side where all the best players make themselves available for selection will ensure that Zone One becomes a force in the future.