Clouds over Nth Rivers? Shield bid
GOLD Coast walloped the NRDBA for the 12th successive year in the rain-shortened Sawtell-Black Shield match at Ballina.
Last time the northerners lost the Shield was back in 1993.
In the scheduled two rounds on Sunday, the overall score was 199-157 when play was abandoned about an hour into the second.
The weather threatened from the start. Showers all around, dark and heavy skies, and a green slowed by the conditions had players struggling to adjust.
NRDBA won two of the six first-round games. The team of Richard Jones, Tony Cheli, Peter Brown and David Ball did best, downing Brian McNish's four 20-14.
The other game winner was NRDBA's David Taylor, Terry McFadden, David Tancred and Neil Burgess, who edged out the team of Queensland State rep Brett Wilkie 23-21.
A third NRDBA team ? David Foster, Justin Calandro, Rod Farmer and John Lang ? went near as dammit, edged out 20-21 by another Queensland State rep, Nathan Rice.
In the other three games, Brian Nixon's team was well beaten 26-13 by Keith Godbold; Delio Santarossa's four was thrashed 31-10 by a team containing former Australian star Robbie Dobbins; and skip Barry Ward was knocked over 16-20 by Peter Beaven.
The overall first round score was 133-103 in Gold Coast's favour. The threatening rain materialised early in the second outing when Gold Coast led 66-57.
David Ball was again going well, leading 15-10 against Nathan Rice when play was called off; Santarossa was 10-6 in front of McNish; Burgess led Beaven 12-8; while Nixon, Lang and Ward all trailed.
NRDBA juniors who lined up against their Gold Coast counterparts were generally outmatched in size and experience, but were praised by publicity man Bill Slade as a credit to the district on and off the green.
A team with Ballina's 11-year-old Mighty Midget, Aaron Teys, as lead for J Schofield, T Kerridge and M Jones, won their game 18-17, but NRDBA lost the other game 37-8.
When rain caused play to be abandoned, Jones' team trailed by just the one shot, 7-8. In the other game, NRDBA was behind 3-13.