BIG NAME: Rowan Brassey will be tough to beat at the NSW interzone senior championships.
BIG NAME: Rowan Brassey will be tough to beat at the NSW interzone senior championships.

Casino RSM seals the No 1 pennant flag

WITH two rounds of the pennant season to go, Casino RSM can't be beaten for the No 1 flag. In a near-perfect eight rounds it has dropped only two points and now leads second-placed Ballina by a massive 30 points.

In Round Eight, Ballina - itself almost unbeatable a couple of seasons ago - went down by nine points to South Lismore and has 48 points to the Casino side's 78. The Southies, premiers for the past two seasons, are well back in fourth position on 27 points.

Evans Head picked up a nine-pointer from East Lismore to hold third spot, and Lennox Head suffered at the hands of Casino RSM, giving away the maximum 10 points.

Main interest in the remaining two rounds is which side will finish runner-up. Ballina heads Evans Head by seven points.

East Lismore and Lennox Head are fighting out the relegation position at the bottom of the table. East Lismore, with 16 points holds a six-point advantage.

Four of the other grades also have early winners. East Lismore has a can't-be-beaten 30.5 point lead in No 4s; in the No 5 four-side comp, South Lismore takes the flag from runner-up Ballina RSL.

The dual No 7 grade also has four sides. Ballina wins the No 7As; the joint Bonalbo/Casino RSM is tops in No 7B. The play off to determine the No 7 flag is on this Saturday at East Lismore.

Big win

ENGLAND, beaten by 50 points, was trounced by the Australian Jackaroos in last week's three-day series at Broadbeach. The points score was 83-33 with Australia winning 41.5 of the 58 matches contested.

It was the Aussies' first major test for next year's Commonwealth Games which will have Broadbeach as base for the 15 Gold Coast clubs to be used.

The Trans Tasman series against New Zealand will be staged on the same greens from May 31 to June 2.This will be followed by the 2017 Gold Coast multi-nations event featuring seven countries.

Tough draw

ZONE One has one of the toughest of draws for the NSW interzone senior sides championship at Sylvania starting on May 16 In our locals' section are two of the strongest sides, Sydney Central and Sydney South. The third side in the section is Zone Eight which takes in Albury to the Southern Highlands.

Names in this comp for bowls' oldies (over 60s) sound like a who's who of a few years back - legendary Aussie reps Rex Johnston (Manning), and Sam Laguzza (Newcastle), former South African star Neil Burkett (Sydney North West) and two of New Zealand's best, Rowan Brassey (Hunter) and Kevin Robinson (Manning).

The final will be played at Taren Point on May 18.

Bugle bowler

ROY Wynter, who sounded the bugle for the charge of Australian lighthorsemen at the Battle of Beersheba, was a champion lawn bowler.

The bugle, still in the possession of Wynter's sister Jan Clark, of Byron Bay, was featured in an Anzac Day article in The Northern Star. The newspaper report jogged the memory of long-time Lismore sports broadcaster Barry Davidson who tells of Wynter playing bowls with his brother. "I think Roy went on to win a state title,” Davidson says.

Roy Wynter was 17 on October 31, 1917 when his bugle signalled the attack that was to be the last great cavalry charge in military history.

During the battle for Beersheba, a town on the edge of the Negev Desert and 120km from Jerusalem, Wynter's companion was another young feller who went on to make a name for himself, Banjo Paterson.

Popular event

LISMORE Heights, the club that features the ever-popular Super Friday Pairs, is staging a $750 three-bowl pairs on Friday, May 19. It's a 12.30pm start and an open draw for two games of 18 ends. Cost $25 a team, dress mufti. Entries can be made at the club or phoned to Jim Rank at 6621 5493. You have to get in early for these Heights events - and there's a limit of 32 teams for this one.

Good cause

THE result of the Beacom Shield, the annual event at Alstonville between the bowls club and the RSL, was as near as dammit - one card to come in and the score 80-all. The RSL, holder of the shield, had to hand it over when the club's team returned a two.

Who cared? It was the usual great fun day played in the Anzac spirit with more than $1500 going to Legacy.

MY VIEW . . . on getting together

BOWLS Australia advocates mixed gender bowls. As strength and physique have no part in our game, there's nothing to stop it.

But how is Open bowls ever going to become state policy in NSW when our male and female associations can't get together?

For years Bowls NSW has dithered over gender amalgamation while in other states it has been working successfully. And Open bowls administration which would do away with expensive duplication of services is just as important, or more so, than both sexes competing against each other on the green.

Most clubs have accepted Open competition anyway. Ballina's nationally-recognised Summerland Series had 19 women taking part with the men a couple of months ago. Other clubs make it known that women are welcome on social days and in their tournaments.

Bowls NSW, if the national body mixing the sexes, if clubs are doing it without any pressure, isn't it time you did something at your level?

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