Illawarra will be striving to prevent a successful title defence by Sydney South Western in the 2018 Inter-Zone Sides Championship Final at the Rules Club Wagga (Monday 10 September).
Bowls NSW partnered with the City of Wagga Wagga to stage the 2018 Championships at the Rules Club and the Wagga RSL.
Illawarra started slowly in their semi-final against Newcastle, the Novacastrians skipping away to a lead of greater than 10 shots in the early stages before their rival steel city stormed back into the match.
Illawarra’s surge was propelled by the team skipped by Aaron Teys. They ran away to a 39-8 win over Richard Girvan.
The Matt Baus skipped Newcastle team continued their rampage for Newcastle, playing magnificent bowls to beat Michael Stead 28-11.
Jesse Noronha’s team got the better of a tight tussle with Lennon Scott, recording a 16-15 win to give Illawarra the overall score 66-51.
Mid-Western NSW kept in touch with the star studded Sydney South Western side in the early stages.
The metropolitan side, with no fewer than 10 players with some level of State Representative experience, pulled away in the latter stages to run away with a 67-46 victory.
Carl Healey spearheaded the win with a 30-14 result over Jay Marskell while Ray Pearse enjoyed a 23-14 victory over Jono Davis.
Lee Stinson gave the boys from the West of the “Sandstone Curtain” some joy with an 18-14 win over Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Aaron Wilson.
Illawarra qualified for the semi-finals with an unbeaten record, beating Hunter 66-41 in Round 3 after wins over greater Western Sydney and South Eastern NSW on the opening day.
Newcastle also entered the semi-finals with an unblemished record. They accounted for North Coast 60-46 in the final sectional round and enjoyed victories over Central Coast and North Western NSW in their first 2 matches.
Mid-Western NSW ensured they qualified for the semi-finals with a tight 94-54 final round victory over Far North Coast adding to wins over Manning and Sydney Northern.
The defending Champions stuttered in their first encounter, a loss to Sydney North West had them in danger of failing to progress. Their section however was wide open after day 1 with Sydney South West recording a strong 75-51 win over opening round winners Sydney Central & Southern, while South Western NSW stunned Sydney North West 66-49.
Sydney North West then won the last 4 ends in their clash with Sydney Central & Southern to finish with 19.5 points, but the defending champions put in the required performance in the third round, romping home to record a thumping 85-38 victory over South Western NSW also finishing on 19.5 points but claiming passage to the semi-final with a better shots record, courtesy of their final round win.
The final will be played at The Rules Club Wagga, cards to be called at 8.30AM.