My apologies for the lack of a ladies’ section of the bowls report for the last few months. There have been many factors contributing to this, but hopefully we can get back on track now.
With only two participants in the Minor Singles this year, the first and final game was played on 19 July between two relatively new bowlers. Cathy Coleclark won the event over Christine Yeo.
Our Pennant competition came next with our two teams consisting of Marjorie Wilkie, Ruth Willdig, Irene Dunn, and myself, Deb Folkard (Skip) and Sue Sheil, Enid Hall, Judy Whitton and Jane Haddon (Skip). Reserves, Pam Tulloch, Chris Yeo, Maya McGrath and Gillian Portener. Our first match on 23 August was against Milton Ulladulla. Rain interrupted the game; however the opposition was well in command of the match when we were forced to retire. The game will only be required to be completed if the outcome of the whole Pennant competition would be altered with this result.
Unfortunately, I had to retire injured after this first match, with Gillian Portener capably taking my place. The rest of the competition resulted in the girls having some great wins, interspersed with nail biting losses and more wet weather. The teams reported that they fought back to finally come fourth and, even though they didn’t get into the playoffs, they still enjoyed the season. We also enjoyed a trip to Warilla on our Pennant bye day for some indoor bowls. Of course, it didn’t rain as predicted on this day!
The Major Singles commenced on 4 October with four matches, only two with Kangaroo Valley representation. Firstly, Gillian Portener drew the reigning Major Singles champion Jane Haddon. After letting Jane get away to a quick lead, Gillian dug deep bringing the scores back to only a difference of four points. However, Jane then hit a purple patch going on to take the match 25 to 14. Secondly, I put up a respectable fight against Ruth Willdig, taking the lead on the third end until the scores were drawn 11 all on end 15. I then took the lead again until end 22 where Ruth’s excellent accuracy saw her take the win 25 to 16 in 28 ends.
The final of the Major Singles was an absolute cracker between Jane Haddon, defending her title, and Anna Stewart, a previous winner of the Championship. The lead changed hands many times, with Jane creating a comfortable buffer of six until Anna fought back to bring the game to a draw on ends nine and 11. Jane once again settled into a confident section for four ends, creating a lead of seven. However, Anna had not given up, taking her turn to also score for the next four ends, thereby taking over the lead at 21 to 19. This is probably a good time to remind all of you that the first to 25 points wins the match! Jane skilfully won the next end by one giving her control of the Jack. Tactically, Jane put in a short end and won the end convincingly with the best possible outcome of four points. This gave Jane the lead, 24 to 21, meaning Jane needed just one more point for victory. As can happen in bowls, the following end didn’t go quite to plan and Jane accidentally put down a long Jack, Anna’s favourite length! Notwithstanding this error, Anna wasn’t having it all her own way either, and none of her first three bowls were in contention. It looked like Jane had done enough for victory but bowls is a fickle game sometimes and Anna’s last bowl hit a short bowl and ricocheted through the head to pick up the Jack and score another point, plus control of the Jack for the next end. Anna’s Jack didn’t roll as far as she usually preferred giving Jane another opportunity. All of Anna’s first bowls were too long and Jane’s were just right. Jane was holding three when once again Anna’s last bowl came through the head picking up the Jack and taking it back to her waiting bowls at the end of the rink, giving Anna the three points required to win the match. Jane had one last chance to take the game back with the final bowl. Sadly, it just fell short of the head; sometimes that last point is the hardest to achieve. Congratulations Anna, our new Major Singles Champion for 2022.