Bowls: It's a whole new ball game for ex-league player

LENNOX Head's Warren Thatcher, once a rugby league player at Tumut, has taken out the district Rookies' double - winning both categories, singles and pairs.

The Rookies' event is for bowlers with no more than 30 months' experience at the game.

Thatcher completed the double in fine fashion with pairs clubmate John Nasser at the weekend. They had a plus-18 result; the other three teams were all in the minus bracket.

Thatcher and Nasser now proceed to the zone pairs finals at Ballina RSL this Sunday. Thatcher will play his singles final on Saturday, also at Ballina RSL. Winners will progress to the state finals.

The burly Thatcher, 57, an electrician lineman, started playing socially with Ballina RSL Sandflies when the bowls club at Lennox Head, where he's lived for 10 years, was in hiatus after its break with Ramsgate.

When the club started up again, Thatcher joined and became wrapped up in the game. He's been playing there about 18 months.

He says the resurrected Lennox Head is going from strength to strength - it hopes to field sides in three grades in next season's pennants. The revitalised club's social days are big, with up to 50 bowlers on the greens.