Champion of Club Champions – Singles
Congratulations to Chloe Stewart (Tweed Heads) and Ben Walsh (Red Hill) who have taken out the women’s and men’s Champion of Club Champions singles titles!
Story by Peter Rookas
The Men’s Singles Gold medal match between Red Hill’s Ben Walsh and Booval Swifts Glen Pitts at the North Toowoomba Bowls Club today promised a close battle and as if to the script, the players delivered.
Pitts got away to a flying start and it took all the resolve that Ben Walsh could muster, to weather the storm. Walsh regathered and slowly pegged back the lead, end by end, to the point that the game was levelled at 14 all. Both players then exchanged end for end to tally 18 all, before Walsh took the jack into the ditch with Pitts holding 2 shots & then followed up with a deft touch to reverse the score to 2 shots his way and a 20-18 lead. This was like a punch to the solar plexus for Pitts and he never really recovered. Walsh stole another 2 shots, conceded a shot then played some wonderful draw bowls to close out the match 25-19.
In the Men’s Bronze medal match Broadbeach young gun, Sean Ingham, had too much firepower for Proserpine’s Michael Kinnear to claim the match and the medal. Ingham shot away to a 6-0 lead early, doubled that score very quickly to lead 12-1 and then continued to power away to convincing 25-5 victory.
In one of the most enthralling Women’s Gold Medal finals, rising Australian young talent Chloe Stewart from Tweed Heads held her nerve against experienced campaigner Liz Parry to capture a unique double at the tournament. After grabbing Gold in the Women’s Fours played over the weekend, Stewart withstood the early pressure applied by Parry before turning the tables when it most mattered. Parry jumped to a 6-3 lead but Stewart steadied to level at 6-all. It then became a procession of 1 shot ends with the flow changing as much as the breezy conditions. Parry again took the lead 9-7 but a decisive 2 shot end to Stewart levelled the match a 9 all & then the youngster poked her nose in front to lead 12-11. Then, not once, but twice, Stewart killed the end with Parry holding shot and then claimed a 4 to lead 16-11. This rocked Parry but she displayed years of experience to slowly come back to trail 16-15 before Stewart again surged away to 17-15. Then against the trend, Stewart claimed another brilliant 4 shot end and the Parry challenge was thwarted. Two shots on the next two ends to Stewart secured the Gold Medal 25-15, a margin that belied the closeness of the contest. A captivated crowd were at times held breathless, as both players put on a display of lawn bowls never seen in Toowoomba before this year’s tournament.
In the Bronze Medal match, Hervey Bay’s Wendy Jamieson had to produce top quality bowls to overcome a determined Trish Spicer of Marlin Coast, 25-18. After trading shots early, Jamieson went out to a solid 16-11 lead and then applied the ‘screws’ to lead 24-12, but to Spicer’s credit, she never took a backward step and closed the gap to just 6 shots. It was only an unlucky brush of the jack that denied her the chance of a 3 to extend the match even further. Jamieson drew a breath of relief to take the shot and seal the match.
GOLD MEDAL FINAL
Ben Walsh (Red Hill) 25 def 19 Glen Pitts (Swifts)
Chloe Stewart (Tweed Heads) 25 def 15 Liz Parry (Salisbury)
BRONZE MEDAL FINAL
Sean Ingham (Broadbeach) 25 def 5 Michael Kinnear (Proserpine)
Wendy Jamieson (Hervey Bay) 25 def 18 Trish Spicer (Marlin Coast)
For more video coverage of the Champion of Club Champions so far, go to our Facebook page videos.
Thank you to the North Toowoomba Bowls Club and the Toowoomba Region for their support during this event so far.