Men’s Pairs Championship

A total of 24 pairs took part in the Qualification Rounds of the Men’s Pairs Championship on Sunday 4th December. Each team played three games of 14 ends against other teams drawn at random, with the top eight teams based on wins and shots-up progressing to knock-out finals the following week. Play took place on B and C greens, both of which were running well, while the weather was warm with SE to SW breezes. Given the 2x2x2x2 format, play extended throughout the day with the last pairs leaving the green about 5:30pm.

Only three pairs won all three matches (Palmer/Hanna, Rogers/Gray and Butler/Tan) while Cunningham/Morgan came through with two wins and a draw. The remaining qualifiers with two wins and shots-up were Martin/Linford, Konig/Odell, Webb/McCarthy and Flack/Daley, all on a countback from four other teams.

The quarter- and semi-finals of the Men’s Pairs championships were both played over 18 ends on B Green on Sunday 11th December under sunny skies and a lightish SE wind which started to fluctuate and strengthen from about noon, switching between SSE and SSW from time to time. Two quarterfinals saw the Flack/Daley and Morgan/Cunningham pairs through very comfortably, with their respective opponents Hanna/Palmer and Linford/Martin unable to gain any real foothold. The other quarterfinals were more closely competitive with Odell/Konig coming through with a four on the second last end to triumph over Tan/Butler 19-15 while Gray/Rogers pulled away from Webb/McCarthy (after being level on 10 ends) to win 19-13.

The semi-finals were high quality contests played under more difficult conditions. The first match saw the Premier Division pairing of Flack/Daley against Morgan/Cunningham, with the former moving ahead to a lead of 11-4 after 10 ends, before Morgan/Cunningham hit their straps with a combination of drawing and on-shots to level at 12-all after 15 ends. The final next two ends saw a three to Flack/Daley followed by a two to Morgan /Cunningham, before Flack produced two great draw shots just behind the jack which Cunningham was unable to dislodge, the final margin being 17-14. The second semi was close, too, being 13-11 to Odell/Konig after 16 ends, but three shots on a long end into the wind on the 17th, where Rogers failed to connect with drives through traffic on his last two bowls, saw Odell/Konig through, the final score being 16-12.

The final of the Championship was played on the morning of Sunday 18th December between Peter Flack/Drew Daley and Neville Odell/Jan Konig, before a small number of spectators. Conditions were good, with B green running at a decent speed under warm, sunny skies and a generally steady easterly which dropped off towards the end.

Unfortunately, Odell and Konig were unable to produce their form of earlier rounds and succumbed to the pressure exerted by their opposition from the start. Team Daley used long ends when they had the jack, with Peter Flack’s lead bowls being pretty much on the money throughout. The match was called after 16 ends with Flack/Daley leading 27-5.