Ballina Wintersun bowls win caps top year
By JIM BRIGGINSHAW
WHEN former Kiwi international and current Queensland singles champion Brian Baldwin took the Ballina club's rich Wintersun Singles title last weekend, he added it to some big performances since calling the Gold Coast home. Baldwin's Wintersun 31-29 win over NSW Under-25 champ Jesse McKenzie (Merrylands) was one of the highlights of a 2007 that marks him as among our most consistently successful bowlers.
For the past four years Baldwin's been in the final four of the Queensland singles championship.
Last year, he went down in the semis to Mark Monro (Hamilton) but this year reversed the result, beating Monro 25-19 in the title final.
Then there was the sparkling win in this year's Summerland Singles at Ballina.
The Wintersun follow-up victory must have him wishing he could take Ballina's greens back to Musgrave Hill with him.
The Wintersun had the unusual aspect of a mixed gender field. Ranked No 3 in Australia, Claire Duke (Moama) was best woman in two high-profile sections but lost 25-9 to Baldwin in the semis.
The only local section winner, former NSW rep Neil Burgess (Lennox Head), came up against Baldwin in the quarter-finals, losing 25-14.
John Lang (Evans Head) was nudged out by two shots by the eventual section winner, Australian rep Barrie Lester (Melbourne), by two shots by Alan McMaster (Cabramatta) and four shots by Australian rep Nathan Rice.
Mick Anderson (Byron Bay), after beating Ray Pickard (Avalon), went down to No. 2 ranked Australian Mark Casey (Helensvale) and section winner Jamie Chesney, of Norfolk in England.
Richard Latta (Casino RSM) had an outstanding 24-17 win over Australian singles champion Shane Globits (Helensvale) but lost to Wintersun runner-up McKenzie and Morrie Penfold (South Tweed).
Viv Ross (Ballina) won two of his games but was unlucky enough to be in the same section as the Wintersun winner Baldwin.
Former world champion Steve Glasson (St Johns Park) came second in his section after being beaten 25-11 by Anthony Kiepe (Pine Rivers).