Great duos roll up for bowls tournament
NATIONALLY renowned players and a host of other top-quality names have signed up for one of Lismore's biggest bowls tournaments of the year.
Former Commonwealth Games winner and world champion Brett Wilkie is among the stellar field for this year's $8000 Classic Pairs at South Lismore Bowling Club from March 28-30.
Wilkie is lining up with current Australian A squad player Anthony Fantini at the competition, which also features some of the region's best players. Club secretary-manager Ben McCall, who was one half of last year's winning combination, said he was delighted with the roster.
"It is great that we can attract this type of player," he said.
"It just helps showcase what bowls clubs in this area can do.
"It should be great fun and I can't wait for it."
Sixty-four teams will do battle at this year's event, one of the notable dates on the region's bowls calendar.
The competition will see teams split into round-robin groups and play three matches against each other.
The eight teams with the best winning and margin records will progress to the quarter-finals.
McCall said the good prizemoney and switching the tournament from last year's June date was paying dividends, with some excellent action already in prospect.
Kris Lehfeldt, who took this year's Summerland Pairs at his home Ballina Cherry Street Club with Wilkie, is teaming up with Michael Anderson.
Other top teams include last year's Queensland singles champion Jamie Smith, who is pairing with Clinton Bailey.
Stephen Halmai and Brendan Hoey is another useful combination.
McCall confirmed he will return with playing partner and former New South Wales singles champion Ray Pearse.
The pair took last year's event and McCall said he was keen to repeat their triumph in 2013.
"It will be interesting to see if we can defend the title," he said. "There is a tougher field and it is always hard defending your title.
"I think it just great for the area that we have this quality of bowlers coming along." Play gets started at 9am every day and spectators are welcome.
McCall said about 10-15 places at the event were still available.
Any players hoping to enter should call the club on 6621 3510 or email email@example.com
Places must be booked as soon as possible.