BUSY BOY: Ben McCall, who will combine with Jamie Eichorn on the green in between organising the Country Classic Pairs.
BUSY BOY: Ben McCall, who will combine with Jamie Eichorn on the green in between organising the Country Classic Pairs. Marc Stapelberg

Locals to test themselves against top-ranked bowler

THE No 1 ranked Australian lawn bowler will be out to beat the locals in the annual $6000 Country Classic Pairs at the South Lismore Bowling Club.

The two-day competition starts tomorrow with Ryan Bester and Sean Ingham looming as the team to beat.

Bester is not only the No 1 ranked Australian player but is a Canadian international and Commonwealth Games silver medallist, while Ingham is an Australian Under-25 representative.

South Lismore pair Jamie Eichorn and Ben McCall are among the favourites with McCall doubling as the event organiser.

Last year they finished second while McCall won the inaugural event in 2012 with Sydney bowler Ray Pearse.

"No one has won it twice yet and that probably shows the strength of the field," McCall said.

"We've always been able to attract good players and most of them are here again.

"There would be a handful of bowlers who have represented at state level or higher."

The tournament offers Bowls Australia ranking points with the winning team sharing $2400.

Ballina bowlers Michael Anderson and Kris Lehfeldt won it last year but won't be playing this time.

Steve Halmai is back again, with Northern Rivers bowlers Luke Jones, John Lang and Glen Pitts also among the field.

Women will compete again with Queensland representatives Gail Waitai and Christina Pavlov teaming up.

"They'll compete strongly and could go a long way," McCall said.

"Nick Gosley is an Australian Under-18 rep from South Lismore and I expect him to go well too."

Each team will play six games with the winner decided by overall wins and margins.

Play will start at 9am with spectators welcome both days.



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