South’s second success at North vs South

by jgrey on November 4, 2019

Suburban Bowls Club (Nov, 2-3)

The southerners have done it once again and walked away for the second time with the North vs South title.

The second QLD North versus South Challenge held at the Suburban Bowls Club in Townsville was just as thrilling as last year’s event and continues to be seen as  a great step forward for bowls in the state.

The idea of holding a North versus South event was seeded 24 months ago, and has since germinated into an event that generates excitement throughout the state.

With 12 players in each team, the format for event was three rinks of four for both the men’s and women’s teams.

The three test series each with 21 ends was contested over the course of two days with two games played on the Saturday and the final test held on the Sunday.

The North’s teams were selected from Tropical Far North QLD, North West QLD, North QLD, Mackay, Leichhardt, Central QLD, Port Curtis, Bundaberg, Burnett, Fraser Coast, Condamine and Maranoa/Warrego districts.

South’s teams were chosen from the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gateway, Cunningham, Downs, Southern Downs, Moreton Bay and Gold Coast districts.

The division of north and south was worked out by drawing a line horizontally across Queensland, leaving half the clubs north of the line and half the clubs south of the line.

This line passed through the Sunshine Coast, Condamine and Maranoa/Warrego Districts, and it was decided to drop all Sunshine Coast into the South and move Condamine and Warrego into the North.

Selectors were advised to select teams from names nominated by districts and to include a mix of state and non-state representatives.

The Game:

The inaugural North versus South Challenge showed off the depth of talent both sides of the North-South divide. The skill of the South prevailed in the end with both of the southern teams emerging as victors who won over their opponents.

Day one of the event saw the South Women claim the first two test series in one fell swoop to secure the North vs South title in their favour for the second time. With the chance of the first test going either way, North’s Sue Brady led her team to a win with nine point margin over South’s Pamela Fantini 22-13. The one point margin in the Dee-Anne Robertson (South) versus Faye Clarke (North) match got the crowds wondering who would take the test, but South’s Georgia White and her team held the biggest margin against North’s Wendy Ryan’s team with a 25-13 win leading to total score of 54-52 to the South for the first test.

The second test saw a large margin too for South’s Pamela Fantini’s team who were on fire with a convincing win of 30-10 against North’s Wendy Ryan’s team leading to a total score for the second test 65-51 to the South.

Meanwhile, the South Men led the first test with a satisfying 62-43 thanks to the impressive win by South’s Steven Tong’s team 26-12 against North’s Colin Kelly, but weren’t in the winning seat for too long and claimed a 72-72 draw in the second test, due mainly to the enthralling trouncing by North’s Colin Kelly’s team 35-23 that evened out the scores.

Day two gave the North men a chance to come back fresh after their defeat in the first test at the beginning of day one and their tie in the second test.

While determined not to let there be a repeat of the first test, the North tried to stage a comeback but were unable to maintain their ground against the determined southerners and the South took out the third test with a whopping 73-52.

The South Women found themselves under far less pressure in their final game with the knowledge that they had already secured their series after wins in the first two tests.

The North Women put up stiff resistance, however, the talent of the South shone through and allowed them to sneak in with a smaller margin to win 61-54.

Test 1

Women South def North 54-52
Men South def North 62-43

Test 2
Women South def North 64-51
Men North drew South 72-72

Test 3
Women South def North 61-54
Men South def North 73-52

Congratulations goes to Mark Edwards who was named North QLD Men’s District Bowler of the Year at the North vs South Challenge.

Thanks to Exodas, Thuringowa City Bowls Club and the North Queensland Ladies’ and Men’s Districts for supporting the North vs. South Challenge.