ON DEBUT: Scott Thulborn will represent the Australian side for the first time on the Gold Coast today
ON DEBUT: Scott Thulborn will represent the Australian side for the first time on the Gold Coast today Patrick Woods

Casino RSM on a roll this season

CASINO RSM steamed further ahead in top-grade pennants and over the seven rounds has turned in a performance unmatched in recent times.

With three rounds to go in the Northern Rivers District Bowls Association season and just 30 points available, the Casino side is 21 points ahead of second-placed Ballina.

Weekly points indicate the Casino side's superiority: A perfect score for the seven rounds would be 70 points. Casino RSM has 68. It dropped one point to East Lismore in the first round and one to Evans Head in round four.

Casino RSM's rebuilt side would have to leave its bowls at home to miss out on the flag the club hasn't won since 2008.

The win over reigning premier South Lismore for the 10-pointer on Saturday was by 20 shots.

In other matches, Ballina picked up nine points for downing East Lismore by 27 and Evans Head took the maximum 10 with a 26-shot victory over Lennox Head.

Progressive table: Casino RSM 68 points, Ballina 47, Evans Head 32, South Lismore 18, East Lismore 15, Lennox Head 10.

Leaders in other grades: No 2, Lismore Heights; No 3, Kyogle; No 4, East Lismore; No 5, Ballina RSL; No 6, Lismore Workers Sports; No 7A, Ballina; No 7B, Bonalbo/Casino RSM.

Some grades have games outstanding. These will be played over the next few weeks.

MY VIEW: PENNANT AMALGAMATIONS

BOWLS NSW - which long opposed clubs joining to enter a pennant side - has relented.

These days, with declining memberships, some clubs that are keen to play pennants are unable to find enough players to enter. It makes sense to allow two clubs to have one joint side.

For the first time the NRDBA has a joint entry in its pennant competition.

The tiny Bonalbo club has joined with the strong Casino RSM in what is proving to be a successful partnership. The joint Bonalbo/Casino RSM is leading the 7B grade with a healthy nine-point lead over second-placed side Casino RSM.

Allowing two sides in the one grade is one of the less acceptable decisions of the state body and while it often overcomes a tricky draw situation, it is slightly ridiculous.

Slightly ridiculous also is the Condition of Play that states if there is more than one side in a grade, the sides are considered equal within that grade and players are able to play in either side during sectional play if not graded higher.

A club having two sides in the one grade gets enough of an advantage without a rule that appears to allow switching of players between sides.

Jackaroos debut

AUSTRALIA will have three players making their international debut when they take on England at Broadbeach in a three-day clash starting today. They are Scott Thulborn, 33, Corey Wedlock, 20, and Ellen Ryan, 20.

Wedlock, with an impressive list of championship wins in overseas tourneys, will debut for Australia before he has represented his state, New South Wales.

Thulborn, of South Australia, won last year's world champion of champion singles and selection for the Jackaroos was a natural progression.

Cabramatta's Ellen Ryan was entitled to her place after winning gold and silver in both the Commonwealth Youth Games and World Youth championships as well as a World Under-25 indoors singles title.

National coach Steve Glasson says the series against England will give the Jackaroos "their one and only chance to discover the Broadbeach greens ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games".

Broadbeach is the Gold Coast base club for the Games.

Black Paddles Shield

FORMER Australian rep and South Lismore stalwart Arthur Black has his name commemorated with another Australian great, Rex Johnston, in the Black Paddles Shield - competed for by Zone One seniors and those of the Manning Great Lakes Zone 11.

Black holds Australian cap No 76 and represented his country at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and the 1985 Trans Tasman series. He won the NRDBA singles five times.

Tuncurry bowler Johnston, known to the bowling world as Paddles, holds Australian cap No 93 and has represented his county 450 times, is a one-time coach of Australia and is the nation's most decorated bowler. He represented Australia at four consecutive Commonwealth Games and won gold in 1994 and silver in 1998.

The Black Paddles Shield, used as a hit-out for the NSW senior interzone sides championship at Taren Point/Sylvania on May 16-18, was played at Tuncurry at the weekend. Zone 11 won two tests to one. Zone One's 42-33 win was in the second test. In the other two rounds, Zone 11 won 35-31 and 46-26.

The Australian senior sides championships will be held on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula from October 15-19.

Heartbeats' party rescheduled

BARRY Enright, secretary of that group of bowlers with chest zippers, the Heartbeats, reports that its 30th birthday celebrations, scheduled to be held at Brunswick Heads, where the club began, had to be cancelled. It will now be held at Lismore City on May 29.

Oscar the U18s champ

THERE'S been a changing of the guard in the junior ranks: 12-year-old Oscar Forrester, of Evans Head, is the new zone under-18s singles titleholder.

He's a cousin of that club's whiz kid Luke Jones who was next in line to Aaron Teys in the NRDBA's Junior Bowler of the Year list.

Teys won the title four years in a row. So did Jones.

Jones also topped the open Bowler of the Year in 2015 against all comers.

Second place in this year's under-18s titles went to 14-year-old Ella Elks, of Lennox Head, while in third spot was Lucy Kelly, 11, of Alstonville.

The under-18s pairs will be played at Ballina RSL on May 7 from 10am. Entries will close on May 2 with Greg Danvers. Email gregdanvers@icloud.com

$1500 men's classic

TWO-BOWL triples speeds up the game. It's growing in popularity among those bowlers who like travelling in the fast lane.

Alstonville is using it as the format for a men's classic tournament on Monday week.

It will be two games of 15 ends with a prize pool of $1500. The winner will get $600 and the prize list goes to $75 for sixth.

Entries - $15 a head - to 0401682680 or 66280497. They will close on May 5 or when filled. Snacks will be provided.

MY VIEW: PENNANT AMALGAMATIONS

BOWLS NSW - which long opposed clubs joining to enter a pennant side - has relented.

These days, with declining memberships, some clubs that are keen to play pennants are unable to find enough players to enter. It makes sense to allow two clubs to have one joint side.

For the first time the NRDBA has a joint entry in its pennant competition.

The tiny Bonalbo club has joined with the strong Casino RSM in what is proving to be a successful partnership. The joint Bonalbo/Casino RSM is leading the 7B grade with a healthy nine-point lead over second-placed side Casino RSM.

Allowing two sides in the one grade is one of the less acceptable decisions of the state body and while it often overcomes a tricky draw situation, it is slightly ridiculous.

Slightly ridiculous also is the state Condition of Play that states if there is more than one side in a grade, the sides are considered equal within that grade and players are able to play in either side during sectional play if not graded higher.

A club having two sides in the one grade gets enough of an advantage without a rule that appears to allow switching of players between sides.
 



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