Nerves play part in tense pairs final
By BARRY CHEADLE, firstname.lastname@example.org
MUSGRAVE Hill bowlers Glen Bailey and Bruce McNish denied Craig Teys and Jeff Dolan back-to-back Summerland Pairs titles with a 20-16 win in a tense final at the Ballina Bowling Club last night.
Bailey and McNish, who is a former New Zealand representative, held their nerve after going into the last end leading 18-16.
They had clawed their way back into the match after trailing early.
Dolan, a Queensland State fours champion from Brisbane's Wynnum-Manly club, and Teys, formerly of Ballina but now with Evans Head, had led 9-4 after eight ends.
Bailey and McNish fought back to trail 12-9 after 12 ends. The turning point came in the 13th end when the Queensland pair picked up four shots to lead 13-12.
From there they were never headed, but Dolan and Teys were always in contention.
It was 15-12 after 15 ends, but then Dolan picked up three shots with a great last bowl to level at 15-all.
Shots on the 17th and 18th ends saw Bailey and McNish draw away to 18-15, but Nolan and Teys set up a great finish with a shot on the 20th end to trail 18-16.
Nerves played a factor in the final end, with early bowls from both teams coming up short.
But the Queensland pair held on to pick up two shots and win 20-16.
Bailey summed up the tension of the final when he said: "I've had enough. Six ends ago I was ready to pack it in."
Dolan said: "It was a tight one. They played well. We tried."
The winners pocketed $3000 for their success, while Dolan and Teys shared $1500.
Quarter-finals: Michael Anderson (Byron Bay), John Lang (Evans Head) 21 d Geoff Hawken (Musgrave Hill), Ron Erickson (Murwillumbah) 7; Glen Bailey, Bruce McNish (Musgrave Hill) 18 d Rex Wildash, Ray Hickman (South Tweed Heads) 11; Craig Teys (Evans Head), Jeff Dolan (Wynnum-Manly) 13 d Trevor Clarke, Richard Latta (Lismore Workers Heights) 11; Chris Amos, Kelvin Kerkow (South Tweed Heads) 22 d Geoff Matters (Forbes), Matthew Pietersen (Parkes) 14.
Semi-finals: Bailey, McNish 19 d Lang, Anderson 11; Teys, Dolan 22 d Amos, Kerkow 9 (14 ends).
There almost was a repeat of the final last summer, with the 2004 beaten finalists Lang and Anderson falling one step short, beaten in the semi-finals yesterday.
Bailey was a member of the winning pairs team in 2002.
Ballina Bowling Club officials were pleased with the standard of the field, and now look towards the second half of their major carnival ? the Summerland Singles, which will be held next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.