Luke Jones, 15, of Evans Head plays the older guys in a game against Ballina at Ballina Bowls Club.
Luke Jones, 15, of Evans Head plays the older guys in a game against Ballina at Ballina Bowls Club. Jay Cronan

Evans Head in a cakewalk

THE predicted crackerjack final of the Northern Rivers district fours championship turned out to be a scorecard fizzer. David Ball's Evans Head team won 30-6 without playing the last two ends.

Ball, with 15-year-old prodigy lead Luke Jones, second off the mat John Lang and third Richard Latta, both with plenty of bowls miles on the clock, completed a record sixth win in the last 11 years of this championship.

Of the opposition - Brian Nixon, Peter Gallagher, Mark McAlister, Gary Burt - Nixon and Burt were regulars in Ball's title-winning team before he transferred from Casino RSM.

Sunday's final at Alstonville quickly slipped out of the Casino team's grasp. After four ends it trailed 7-0. Although the standard of play was high, it took until the ninth end for it to accumulate six shots.

And there the side sat. It didn't add another shot to its tally before conceding victory 30-6 after 19 ends.

With two high-quality teams involved, the last thing spectators expected was this sort of walkover.

The district senior fours, played at Evans Head, resulted in a title win for the Ballina team of W Sterland, W Yardy, N Dunne, W Wyatt who beat Perc Langby's Lismore Workers Heights outfit 22-19.

The semis and the final went down to the wire with the result in doubt until the last bowl was delivered.

COST of meals and transport has influenced a decision by the Northern Rivers District Association to prune back on the inter-district Compass Trophy and Schipp Shield.

Sixteen of the district's top grade bowlers will be withdrawn from the three-district Compass Trophy and a further 16 lower graders (No 3s to No 7s) from the Schipp Shield, a comp started this year to stimulate interest by those of lesser ability.

Both events will be played in the NRDBA area on June 3. The venues are yet to be named.

MOST bowlers go into district championships with the most experienced players they can find. Not skip Peter Coulson. Two members of the Alstonville team he took into the reserve fours championship were brand new to the game.

Club bar attendant Nathan Gava and Bob Marron have been playing bowls only three months but they had a major hand in winning the title.

They then became a two-man team for Sunday's opening round of the district reserve pairs at East Lismore. Gava took on the role of skip, a difficult job for a tyro bowler.

Although beaten 23-7 by Ballina's Gary Scott and Paul Hutchinson, they still can lay claim to what few bowlers can - a district championship before they've used up their first tube of Grippo.

THE past presidents' meeting and bowls day, transferred from Bonalbo to Alstonville, is on this Sunday. Contact Len Sully early on 6686 8971.

The following Sunday will be the annual long-running challenge which this year will match the Gold Coast past presidents against the locals on South Lismore greens.

Lismore Workers Heights already has some big names nominating for its $3000 Open Men's Pairs on Monday, March 26. There's a 42 team limit, and this is likely to be filled quickly.

Other pending tournaments are: Sunday, March 4: South Lismore Mixed Pairs. March 11: Urbenville Men's Triples.

IT'S 13 months since floods devastated many of Brisbane's bowls clubs - and some are no closer to being put back into service.

Goodna, between Ipswich and Brisbane, is one wiped-out club that is disheartened at the slowness of the rebuilding process.

Ipswich City Council advised it that the extensive renovations were expected to be completed by April 2012, but there's been no movement yet.

"If we want a club, we just have to sit and wait," said a Goodna official.


THANK you for your informative bowls section in the paper - always read and talked about.

Many of the points you write about hit the nail on the head.

I am originally from South Australia where they have a bowls magazine, smaller than the McKnight one, but much more informative of the promotion of bowls and activities associated with it.

Our magazine is very much third rate in its presentation, its rubbishy paper - I could go on and on.

We should be the State with the best high-gloss magazine with the most bowls information.

I am sending you a couple of the South Australian magazines so you can compare in particular the articles.

Keep up the good work. One day your message will hopefully get through. - Wilf Sprengel, Ocean Shores.

MY VIEW . . .

EVERY NSW bowler should take a look at the official magazines of other States. They're chockablock with a glossy presentation of bowls news and articles - even the ads are bowls orientated.

Unlike our state model, these publications don't have a large slice given over to paid advertorial blurb for beauty products and wordy plugs for entertainers.

And they don't have a top-heavy proportion of pics of self-promoting officials. The worst part is we have no say in whether we buy the product.

The price of the magazine is taken out of the capitation fees we send to Sydney.

Having a captive readership is the dream of every publisher.

With an assured number of subscriptions, content isn't important - anything can be dished up.

Our journal often boasts about its circulation figures.

Why wouldn't it have healthy figures? Circulation is no problem when people have no option but to buy.

One father with two junior bowlers in the family rang me to say his home is mailed three copies of each issue when one would be more than plenty.

I challenge Bowls NSW to put its magazine on sale without it being compulsory.

That way it could prove whether it has bowler acceptance.

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