District Sides – Day 1
What an amazing day, the best bowlers in each district, from 21 BQ districts around Queensland, meet on the Sunshine Coast to show off what they can do, while building friendships in the sport. Queensland’s marathon month of lawn bowls exploded into life today on the Sunshine Coast, with the colourful District Sides action kicking off at five clubs from Tewantin Noosa in the north, to Caloundra in the south.
With no sign of the rain that swamped Brisbane on Friday, bowlers enjoyed balmy coast weather and great host club hospitality.
Country bowlers from as far away as Longreach and Mt Isa, who might only get to play together once or twice a year, marvelled at the chance to play alongside and against the biggest stars of the sport in Queensland, who might play together weekly, if not daily.
The men and women play separately for the first three days of District Sides, to determine the ranking of sides.
Then on Wednesday (May 6), finals day, the top four sides (men and women) will go into the Div 1 final at Tewantin Noosa.
The Sides that finish 4-8 on the ladder go into the Div 2 finals at Coolum Beach, 9-12 go into the Div 3 finals at Pacific Paradise, 13-16 go into Div 4 finals at Club Maroochy, and 17-20 go into the Div 5 finals at Caloundra.
Defending champs are Sunshine Coast (women) and Gold Coast (men).
So what happened today, Day One of District Sides 2015?
Men Section B
There were few surprises in the men’s draw, with defending champs Gold Coast Tweed cruising through Day 1 undefeated, to take out the top spot in Section B.
The Goldie boys kicked off their title defence at Coolum Beach with a 56-shot hammering of host side Sunshine Coast B, 91-35, before picking off Port Curtis 79-56 and fellow Section B big guns, Brisbane North, 76-53.
The loss was a bitter pill for Brisbane North, who clocked up over 200 shots in the opening two rounds, beating Burnett 94-50, then District Sides minnows Maranoa/Warrego, 107-46.
Meanwhile, at Pacific Paradise, Cunningham swept aside all opposition to slot into second on the Section B ladder.
The Cunningham district (encompassing Brisbane’s western suburbs) toppled Southern Down 73-50 and Brisbane 83-62, before carving out a hard-fought win over Fraser Coast 58-50.
It was a tough day at the office for North Queensland, who ended Day 1 winless, alongside Burnett and Maranoa/Warrego in Section B.
Men Section A
In Section A, the coast boys kept the dream of a home win alive, with Sunshine Coast A going through undefeated.
The home side had an easy morning workout at Tewantin-Noosa, dazzling Central Queensland 95-40 and Leichhardt 96-35, before notching up a modest 19-shot win over North-West Queensland, 82-63.
Mackay also emerged from Day 1 unscathed, beating Condamine 80-62, North-West Qld 70-57 and Tropical North Queensland 70-53, to take out second place on the Section A ladder.
However, with six more rounds of sectional play to go, their spot is far from secure, with an unbeaten Bundaberg side snapping at their heels.
The Bundy boys made short work of Leichhardt in the Sides opener, 89-45, but sweated for a nail-biting four-shot win over Downs in Round 3, 50-46. Their Round 2 clash against Tropical North Queensland ended in a stalemate, 54-54.
Women Section A
In the women’s comp, Sunshine Coast’s title defence remains on track, with three big wins at Club Maroochy.
The Sunny Coast girls, who took out back-to-back titles in 2013-2014, opened their campaign with a 36-shot victory over Brisbane North, 66-30.
They backed-up in rounds two and three, beating Maranoa-Warrego 85-23 and Southern Downs 66-40.
Their massive margin over Maranoa-Warrego propelled the home side to the top of the table, but they’re not the only unbeaten side in Section A, with Gold Coast-Tweed and Brisbane also going through to Day 2 with a clean slate.
Gold Coast-Tweed beat Downs, 31-67, Burnett 57-39 and Mackay 52-36, while Brisbane notched up wins over Burnett, 55-34, Southern Downs, 51-44, and Down 53-41.
Women Section B
In Section B Tropical Far North Queensland, Bundaberg and Cunningham top the table with three wins apiece.
TFNQ lead the way at Caloundra Bowls Club, thanks to double-digit victories over Condamine 65-32, Port Curtis 53-36 and Central Queensland 61-34, to finish Day 1 on 3+77.
Cunningham weren’t far behind, on 3+66, a 71-25 win over Wide-Bay Gympie in Round 3 giving them the edge on Bundaberg, on 3+58.
Following a 12-shot win over Leichhardt in Round 1, 46-34, Cunningham had a close call in Round 2, managing to squeak through with a one-shot victory over Caboolture, 46-45.
Bundy had a similar scare, just edging past Port Curtis in Round 1, 45-43, before going on to beat Leichhardt 65-45 and Condamine, 73-37.
District Sides action continues tomorrow with rounds 4-6 of sectional play, followed by round 7-9 on Tuesday and divisional play-offs on Wednesday.
Click here for more information, including teams, draws and full results.