Eastbourne Eagles crowned ultimate champions
Eastbourne Eagles claim the 2018 Club Helensvale $60,000 National Club 5 a Side title. (Picture from left: The winning Eastbourne Eagles team of Philip Skoglund, Justin Goodwin, David Ferguson, Jamie Hill & Gary Lawson.)
Story by Lynsey Clarke (Club Helensvale Bowls Coordinator)
After the 12th staging of the prestigious event, international raiders Eastbourne Eagles from New Zealand have claimed the Club Helensvale $60,000 National Club 5 a Side (September, 3-6) in spectacular fashion.
In a rematch of last years Grand Final, the Eagles overcame defending champions Broadbeach Bulls in a nail-biting final.
Eastbourne won both pairs and fours matches with a margin of ten shots going into the singles and fours disciplines.
The Bulls Ryan Bester kept their hopes alive by winning his singles match 21 – 18 after a phenomenal last bowl saw him steal the three shots required to take victory.
At this point in time, the Bulls had won seven ends in a row to come from behind in their fours match which meant they required just two shots from the last two ends to claim back to back titles.
Things came unstuck for the Bulls on the penultimate end, with the Eagles finishing off the stronger to claim their first title and the $20,000 first prize by a slender three-shot margin.
Earlier in the day, the Eagles defeated NSW State Pennant Champions Cabramatta Bull Ants in one semi while the Bulls overcame local favourites Helensvale Hawks in the second leg of the semi.
The Eagles included four former Kiwi Internationals Gary Lawson, Jamie Hill, Justin Goodwin and Philip Skoglund, making up the five was Australia’s current number one ranked player David Ferguson.
Hill was their only change from last year’s event after being a late withdrawal in 2017.
Mike Carroll made way for Hill to return and took up the role of team manager.
In exciting news for the sport of bowls in NZ, hot off the press during our post-game interview, Gary Lawson has declared himself back out of retirement after the Eagles maiden victory today!
Congratulations to all finalists, competitors and very worthy champions on making this the best competition in the world – what a privilege to have witnessed such outstanding games on our greens over the last four days.
All of yesterday’s action was professionally live streamed so if you missed any of the excitement it can all be relived by visiting the Club Helensvale Facebook page, to visit their Facebook page click here.