Australian Blind Bowlers Championships
By Beatrice Kassulke
Twenty-eight bowlers from all around Australia travelled to Port Macquarie for their National Championships. It was pleasing to note that there were nine bowlers who attended the Nationals for the first time. The Queensland Team had two new members, WA two, Vic one and NSW three. The Queensland team consisted of 14, with seven players and seven directors. Competition was strong in the B2, B3 and B4 categories with only three competitors in B1 (totally blind).
On the second day of competition, rain disrupted play after the first session, which meant the other sessions for that day had to be rescheduled. As a result of the rain, only two competition events, Open Singles in each category and Open Singles with a combination of B1/B2 Players and B3/B4 Players could be played in the round robin format. The other scheduled events of B1/B2 Drawn Pairs and B3/B4 Drawn Pairs were played as a knockout event, with medals being awarded but points for the overall best performed State could not be included.
Queensland had no competitors in B1 Category. In B2 Category, Peter Uther with Director Bernie Clark (Queensland) received the silver medal in B1/B2 Drawn Pairs with Margaret Rosewall (Victoria).
In B3 Category, Queenslanders Jake Fehlberg with Director Grant Fehlberg (silver) and Lynne Seymour with Director Bob Seymour( bronze) were beaten in the B3 Open Singles by gold medalist Fred McConnell from New South Wales who was a first time participant in this event.
In the B3/B4 Open Pairs Queensland took out Gold – Tony Tully with Director Andy Thornley and Jake Fehlberg with Director Grant Fehlberg, and Silver – Fred Tarry with Director Bruce Hill and Dennis Wormald with Director Christine McGrath. In B4 Category Open Singles Queensland’s Dennis Wormald with Director Christine McDonald was awarded the bronze medal behind Sharon Dunk (NSW) and Peter Campion (Vic).
The knockout B3/B4 drawn Pairs was won by Jacky Hudson (NSW) and Fred Tarry with Director Christine McDonald (Qld), silver Martin Bock (NSW) and Dennis Wormald with Director Christine McGrath (Qld) and bronze went to Fred McConnell (NSW) and Jake Fehlberg with Director Grant Fehlberg (Qld).
The ABBA Shield for the Best Performed State was awarded to Western Australia.
Whilst the players and directors can be required to play three two hour games each they all enjoy the strong competition and the friendships they have formed while competing in this event. QBBA thanks Bowls Queensland for their continued support in blind bowls.