ROOKIE SENSATION: Mullumbimby bowler Ben Leeson advanced to the finals of the state-wide rookie competition.
ROOKIE SENSATION: Mullumbimby bowler Ben Leeson advanced to the finals of the state-wide rookie competition. MICHAEL BURKE

State-wide competition for new(ish) players

BOWLS showed an upsurge in new players with 51 people taking part in the rookies singles championship qualifying rounds at Alstonville and Cabarita Beach on Saturday.

This state-wide event is for players with no more than two years' experience in the game.

Four players from each venue will play off in local finals at Ballina RSL on Saturday, September 2.

They are: Section one - E. Pagotto (Evans Head), J. Olley (South Lismore), S. Clarke (Lismore Heights) and G. Jeffrey (Ballina). Section two - D. Wood (Grafton District), K. Olive (Ocean Shores), B. Leeson (Mullumbimby) and T. Harmon (East Lismore).

The zone winner will proceed to the state finals at Raymond Terrace on October 8.

Second chance

BACK for another crack at the Zone One open singles at East Lismore on August 20 are two of last year's finalists, Jamie Eichorn (Casino RSM) and Warren McDonald (Maclean).

In reserve singles, Steve Colley (Brooms Head) will defend the title he won last year.

Fours focus

IN the Zone One open fours at East Lismore on Sunday, Ballina's B. Bermingham, W. Wyatt, N. Burgess and A. Boston took the title 21-13 in the final against a Kingscliff team skipped by G. Searle.

The reserve fours went to another Ballina team - E. Trott, N. Wishart, J. Heard and K. Scott.

The senior fours champions were from Yamba - A. Parker, T. Bardsley, R. Ballantyne and G. Meany.

City tradition

HELP us keep the City tradition alive, says Lismore City's Bob Thompson in announcing the club's aptly-named Farewell to Winter carnival.

It's two days of three-bowl triples on the weekend of August 26-27 - men's on the Saturday, open on Sunday.

Two rounds of play will start each day at 12.30pm and the $1500 prize pool will be shared by winners, runners-up and the best of the two rounds.

Entries can be phoned to 66215991 and close at 5pm the day before play.

Special win

WHEN Mark Edwards, 38, was named Player of the Final in his Townsville club's win in Queensland's rich Dunn Cup, it was a special occasion.

In that state's official magazine he tells of how he left the game for five years as grief spiralled into depression when his mother and brother died and he lost his job.

It took strength to influence his return to the greens and this year win his first major singles, the club singles championship.

And his performance in the Dunn Cup?

"Mark knocked the socks off the opposition with his canny lead bowls,” says the magazine.

Damage control

DAMAGE to modern bowls doesn't happen as much as it once did when drivers let loose a thunderbolt. But it can still occur.

If it does, the umpire has to decide whether a replacement bowl is needed.

If the decision is made that it is, the rules gurus say the replacement bowl must be from the same set. If this can't be done, ALL the player's bowls must be replaced with bowls from a different set.

Once saw a full-blooded drive send a kitty flying off the green and hit a bowler as he came down the clubhouse steps with a trayful of drinks.

Smashed his knee and he had to have an operation. But he didn't spill a drop.

Recruitment drive

SPRING is in the air so the Bowls NSW catchcry "Spring into bowls” is apt for its announcement that North Coast bowling clubs were "opening their doors to new members for a day of fun, food and new friends”.

The recruitment drive with a free sausage sizzle is on September 10 at Kingscliff, Pottsville and Cabarita Beach from 1-5pm.

Sharing ideas

I ENJOY pawing through ancient bowls magazines to see whether or not the game has progressed backwards.

The Australian Bowler of July-August 1961, price two shillings and sixpence (25 cents), reports that the Newcastle association was one of few in Australia to have a member of its executive attend the annual meeting of every club in the district.

"This idea started some years ago and now every affiliated club looks forward to having a representative of the executive at its annual meeting to answer questions and to let the members know what the policy of the association is and how things are going generally,' says the 56-year-old journal.