Mixed Fours Championship

The first round of the Club Mixed Fours Championship was conducted on Sunday 20th November with 48 participants. The teams were made up of a good cross section of bowlers from the Club with some very experienced players matched against an enthusiastic group of newer bowlers and those keen to provide strong competition in this popular event.

Twelve teams were randomly selected into three groups, playing a sectional format of three games apiece over the course of the day, with the winners from each group and one lucky loser to go through to the semi finals the following Sunday.

After the first round of matches before the lunch break, there were three games decided by two shots or less and the first group with skips Dan Greig, Brian Saul, Derek Boardman and Stan Brickell was shaping up to be a very close run affair. As the afternoon games progressed, the second round results started to show a couple of strong wins in groups two and three, with Paul Knight’s and Murray Hulbert’s teams both having two strong rounds. The first group continued with close results indicating a tight finish for the third and final round of matches.

The third round of matches consolidated the positions for the second and third groups with Paul and Murray’s teams running out winners of their respective groups with three wins each. The first group finished with a tight result going Brian Saul’s way with two wins and a shots up advantage over Derek Boardman’s team. The final team to make up the semi final foursome was the Bruce Eagles lead side who had two wins with 30 shots up.

The finals of the Mixed Fours Championship were played on Sunday 27th November on a fast-running ‘B’ green under excellent competitive bowling conditions of mild temperatures and moderate winds although the sea breeze picked up in the afternoon.

The first semi-final between teams skipped by Murray Hulbert (with Peter Flack, Pauline Bourne and Wendy Flack) and Brian Saul (with Nerrida Porteous, Ross Porteous and Jan Power-Tuke) saw the Hulbert team gain control almost immediately and move slowly but steadily away, with the Saul team limited to single shots only. Ultimately, this game was called after 17 ends with Hulbert leading 16-7.

By contrast, the second semi between the Eagles team (Bruce Eagles, Greg Taylor, Kerry Hutchinson, Coral Smith) and Knight team (Paul Knight, Tracey Newman, Shelley Jeffs, Bob Jeffs) was a very closely contested and slightly higher scoring affair which was tied at 14-all after 16 ends. On the 17th end, team Knight picked up 2 shots and were looking comfortable winners on the 18th end. However, with his last bowl Bruce drove and converted it to two shots for his team, the scores 16-16 and forcing an extra end for a result. In the 19th and final end, with the final bowl Paul picked up the jack and moved it back to a Knight team bowl, earning one shot and their place in the final.

The final between the Hulbert and Knight teams didn’t get underway until after 2pm, by which time the wind had picked up and, along with the quick green, proved a challenge for both teams.

The first eight ends saw the score at 8-4 and the game appeared to be shaping up as a close affair. A five by Hulbert’s team on the ninth put them 13-4 up and it seemed they were taking control of the game. However, the next seven ends had team Knight scoring five singles and a two, along with a drawn end between three bowls where the umpire couldn’t determine a winner! The fightback to be down only 13-11 was largely due to the outstanding driving and cold draws of skip Paul Knight. Team Hulbert then settled, picking up two singles on the final two ends to win the game 15-11.