MAKING A COMEBACK: Greg Stewart playing pennants with South Lismore earlier this year. South Lismore has now qualified for the NSW finals.
MAKING A COMEBACK: Greg Stewart playing pennants with South Lismore earlier this year. South Lismore has now qualified for the NSW finals. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

South Lismore bowls champs off to state finals

SOUTH Lismore completed its comeback to top grade pennants and booked a trip to the state finals with a 66-50 win over Kingscliff at the Zone One No 1 playoffs at Evans Head.

The Southies further showed their depth by being nudged into second place in the No 2s by another Tweed-Byron side, Ocean Shores. The score, 67-51, was almost identical to that of the No 1s.

The Northern Rivers district, with wins in three grades, tied with Tweed-Byron at the most successful of the three districts in the zone, winning three flags - the No 1s, 3s and 4s.

MORE: Brigginshaw's View: New-look bowls comp in order? 

The No 3 pennant, played at South Lismore, went to Evans Head with wins over Yamba, 60-47, and Pottsville, 78-59.

Kyogle was tops in the No 4s at South Lismore, beating Maclean 57-55 and Kingscliff 62-48.

Tweed-Byron's three pennants came in the No 2s (Ocean Shores), the No 6s (Ocean Shores) and No 7s (Cudgen). These playoffs were at East Lismore.

Clarence River's only success came in the No 5s at South Lismore in which Grafton Ex-Services downed Kingscliff 63-56 and Ballina RSL 74-53.

The zone winners and their venues for the state finals on August 1-3 are: No 1, South Lismore at Dapto/Albion Park; No 2, Ocean Shores at Cabramatta/Ingleburn; No 3, Evans Head at Kahiba/Warners Bay; No 4, Kyogle at Leeton/Narrandera; No 5, South Grafton Ex- Services at Dubbo; No 6, Ocean Shores at Northmead/Merrylands; and No 7, Cudgen at Orange/Blaney.


Value for money

IS Bowls NSW, in addition to its jump in player capitation fees, depriving some bowlers of what they pay for?

An Urbenville official rang to say his club has had three copies of the compulsory-buy state magazine delivered there for its nine members.

If the state hierarchy returned to its previous method of mailing a copy to every affiliated bowler it forces to buy the magazine, it would reach everyone who pays for it. When it's left in the clubs, the heap never seems to diminish.


Comeback king

WHATEVER happened to Leif Selby?

He retired, twice, at an age when many bowlers are taking up the sport - at 38, then came back and retired again at 40 while he was at his peak - world singles indoors and outdoors champion, two world cups in indoors singles, two Australian opens, and an Australian indoors title.

He was 38 and had just won silver at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games when he announced his retirement from international competition. Two years later he made a comeback to win the world outdoors singles championship with his last bowl when he drove Canadian Ryan Bester's shot out of the head. He'd achieved his aim - he went back into retirement to devote more time to his daughter's rising career as a swimmer and to coaching 18 juniors from his club's academy.

He still plays at Warilla, where he has had several notable on-green tussles with our homegrown young champion Aaron Teys, and is third in No 1 pennants.


Rookies on the rise

ROOKIES, the category that has really caught on - 6000 entrants in total since the state-wide event started in 2009 - for the next five years will be on Raymond Terrace greens.

To be eligible for this year's championship, bowlers must not have played the game anywhere in the world before April 1, 2013.

Zone singles qualifying rounds will be on August 29-30, and pairs on September 19-20 at Grafton Services, Alstonville and Pottsville. If a zone final is needed it will be at Ballina RSL.

State finals will be played on October 17 (pairs) and October 18 (singles).

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