Thrilling end to North Toowoomba’s pairs carnival

by admin on August 1, 2018

Peter Rookas gives his recap of the $4,000 Open Classic Pairs Bowls Carnival (June, 30 – July, 1) held at the North Toowoomba Bowls Club. (Pictured left: Winners are Grinners, North Toowoomba $4,000 Open Mens Pairs Classic winners Jimmo Hagan & Ross McPherson (centre) with carnival sponsors Simon Carrie (Create FS) Rod Banks (Clearspan) and far right Gavin Bradford (Diesel Care))

By Peter Rookas
It was a thrilling finish to the $4,000 Open Classic Pairs Bowls Carnival (June, 30 – July, 1) held at the North Toowoomba Bowls Club at the end of June. 
Sponsored by Clearspan, Diesel Care & Create Financial Services, a capacity field of 32 teams from far & wide took part in the two-day Open carnival. 
Teams made the trek from Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & south to the border town of Goondiwindi.
A twilight Open Pairs & Calcutta evening was the precursor to the weekend carnival, with an added touch of a Jazz night at the Bowls Club, featuring the very popular Windy City Jazz band as the main headline act.
Mild winter conditions for Toowoomba (usually freezing this time of year!!) made for a very competitive two days of bowls and the talented pairings involved didn’t disappoint, with only a handful of shots separating the five leading teams going into the final round. 
The combination of North Toowoomba’s Graham ‘Stretch’ Elton & Gary Peterson seemingly had victory in their grasp, winning all three matches on Day 1 and securing the morning match on Day 2.
However, they knew it was going to be a tough final round match against fellow Norths star player Mark Algate & Toowoomba club ‘young gun’ Justin Weir. 
Trading shot for shot in a tense 16 end final round, Elton & Peterson held shot on the final end, however, with nerves of steel, Weir played the perfect final bowl to close the game out and end their opponents unbeaten run.
Meanwhile, West Toowoomba’s ‘Jimmo’ Hagan was ‘on fire’, having an outstanding carnival paired with North Toowoomba club stalwart Ross McPherson and they too were untroubled in their first four round games. 
West Toowoomba’s Hayden Vogler & South Toowoomba’s Josh Steffens and the team of Toowoomba’s Jai Singh & West Toowoomba’s Callum Brownie were also in the mix.
Hagan precision play continued and his ‘radar-like’ bowls in the final round game with McPherson saw the pair finish with an unblemished record of five wins, no losses and a +18 margin to claim the 2018 North Toowoomba Open Classic Pairs title and the major share of the prize money. 
The tight loss by Elton & Peterson proved costly, pushing them back into third place, behind runners-up Vogler & Steffens who finished strongly. 
Algate & Weir and Singh & Brownie filled the minor places, all four teams recording four wins out of the five rounds, margins being the only difference.
North Toowoomba Bowls Club officials were ecstatic with the success of the carnival, filling the 32 teams required six weeks out from the staging of the event. 
With Pennant season just around the corner, the next major event at Norths will be in November when the time-honoured Grundon Family Mens Fours Classic carnival will be contested, this year boasting a record $10,000 purse.