ON A ROLL: Luke Jones was skip when his Evans Head team won the NRDBA district opens triples championship at Ballina.
ON A ROLL: Luke Jones was skip when his Evans Head team won the NRDBA district opens triples championship at Ballina. Cathy Adams

Bowls: Race to the pennant flag

A SKINNY half a point separates arch-rivals Ballina and South Lismore in the top grade at the conclusion of four rounds of the 10-week NRDBA pennant season.

Closest is East Lismore 14.5 points behind the Southies who have been edged into second place.

In Round Four, Ballina took all 10 points with a 31-shot margin over East Lismore; South Lismore managed 8.5 points with a surprisingly narrow one-shot win over Lennox Head; Casino RSM beat Alstonville by 10 shots to take nine points.

The table: Ballina 34 points (margin plus 89), South Lismore 33.5 (plus 62), East Lismore 19 (minus 12), Lennox Head 12.5 (minus 19), Casino RSM 11 (minus 47), Alstonville 10 (minus 73).

This Saturday, the half-way mark, Ballina will play on home rinks against Lennox Head, South Lismore will be at home to Alstonville, East Lismore will travel to Casino RSM.

Leaders in other grades after four rounds - No 2: Evans Head. No 3: Lismore City. No 4: South Lismore. No 5: Ballina RSL. No 6: South Lismore. No 7: Lennox Head.

Time change

AN unofficial 'non-written law' that had pennants starting at 1.30pm has been changed.

The NRDBA match committee says play now can start at 1pm, but only if both sides agree.

The timetable for the earlier start is: 12.20pm, side managers to be at the club. 12.30, all practice to end. 12.35, side managers to inform controlling body of rink allocation; cards called. 12.40, trial ends to start. 1pm, start of play.

If the 1.30pm start is used, the timetable is: 12.50, side managers at club. 1pm, practice to end. 1.05, rink allocation, cards called. 1.10, trial ends to start. 1.30, play to start.

Triple treat

AN Evans Head team skipped by youngster Luke Jones won the NRDBA district open triples championship at Ballina on Sunday.

With the experienced John Lang second off the mat and Peter White leading, they beat the powerful Ballina three - Kit Conlan, Mick Anderson, Kris Lehfeldt - 25-20.

The district reserve triples at South Lismore went to D Pearce, W Partridge. G Rose with a 29-19 win over J Mills, G Chidgey, A Drooger.

The district senior triples at Alstonville was taken out by Kyogle's B O'Neill, B Hyde, J King 24-19 from B Sten, E Butler, P Carey.

Great result

NSW women were the stand-outs at the Australian Sides Championships at Queanbeyan.

They made history by bringing home the Marj Morris trophy for the fifth successive year, this time with an unblemished record against the other states and territories.

The team skipped by Karen Murphy was named best-performed, unbeaten with six straight wins plus 64.

In the men's event, Victoria broke its 14-year drought when NSW was toppled by South Australia in the last round by two shots.

Charity day

FOR 54 years the Lismore Motor and Allied Trades bowls day has been raising funds for charity.

It's on again at East Lismore club on Wednesday, May 11. All money raised goes to cancer care.

This year there's a special treat, a guest speaker - Grant Goldman from 2SM Super Network.

All goods donated will be auctioned. Proceedings will start at 8.30am and play (casual clothing) will be three rounds of 12 ends. The cost, $22 a head, includes lunch and a light supper.

To be in it and help a worthy cause, contact Paul Campbell (0416245775); Lloyd Moss (6628 8292).

Dispute settled

HEARD a heated discussion when a player claimed a toucher and a live bowl when his delivery went into the ditch and hit the jack that was in there. An umpire settled the dispute - the bowl is not a toucher and is dead.

And what if a legitimate toucher is not marked or nominated? Says the umpire: It's no longer a toucher if it's not marked or nominated before the next delivered bowl comes to rest, or in the case of the last bowl of an end, within 30 seconds.

MY VIEW: On playing numbers

BOWLS is making a comeback. For a while numbers playing on social days dwindled but now clubs report an improvement. Those that had difficulty filling one green are finding an overflow. You're lucky if you're early enough to secure a place in events such as Lismore Heights' Friday Pairs. Veterans' days attract upwards of 100 bowlers. This regrowth means clubs that closed a green because of declining numbers are likely to regret it.

How much better would it be if we went out into the public arena actively seeking newcomers to the sport? The decline started because we've sat on our hands and waited for potential players to come to us.

For ages I have advocated the appointment of a recruitment officer at every bowls club. His/her job would be to seek out the addresses of newcomers to the area through real estate agents, retirement villages and other places that have this information, call on them with an invitation to have a trial game with expert free tuition using the club's equipment.

Many people new to an area want to become involved in the local sport but don't know how to go about it. They would likely jump at an invitation. The recruitment officer also might find many shy long-term residents would respond to the personal approach.

We can't leave the appointment of a recruitment officer to the elected boards of directors - they seem to have things on their minds other than bowls. It has to be an initiative of the bowlers' committee.

If it's ever tried and doesn't bring dividends, I'll eat my bowls cloth with a dash of Grippo.

COMING UP - Sunday, May 1: District President's Day.

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