The semi-finalists for the Senior Inter-Zone Championships have been decided after a cracking day of play at both Charlestown Bowling Club and Kahibah Sports Club. The final round of sectional play in the morning saw a few upsets across all sections with overnight leaders Zone 9, Zone 5 and Zone 14 all losing their final matches. Only Zone 16 were able to scrape through their first three rounds unbeaten – a reflection of the quality of the sides in the field. Despite losing their final round matches, all of the other three overnight leaders still qualified for the quarter finals.
The quarter final line-ups were as follows:
Sydney Nothern (Zone 9) vs Greater Western Sydney (Zone 5)
Central Coast (Zone 15) vs Manning (Zone 11)
Illawarra (Zone 16) vs Sydney North West (Zone 10)
North Coast (Zone 14) vs Newcastle (Zone 2)
Zone 9 and Zone 5 were neck and neck for the first half of their match before Zone 9 pulled away at around the halfway point. They were then able to maintain a comfortable buffer over a valiant Zone 5 side and record a 63-48 victory. Terry Warder’s rink proved the main difference after they recorded a 27-12 win. Similarly, Zone 2 pushed ahead against Zone 14 and finished up 73-57 winners over Zone 14 in what was a high scoring affair.
It was a different story in the other two quarter finals which both went down to the wire. In the match between Zone 16 and Zone 10, it was Brian Harriott’s team that proved the difference as their 22-7 rink win covered the other two rinks which both went down 17-10 and 23-16. The overall score of 59-58 saw Zone 16 go through, albeit by the narrowest of margins. Zone 15 and Zone 11’s quarter final was an absolute blockbuster and the match of the round. Zone 15 held a healthy lead in the late stages of the game before Zone 11’s Col Morrison scored a treble on his last end while Steve Harry picked up a count of four after Tony Shoebridge missed his target by the narrowest of margins. This created a final end showdown between two of NSW’s greatest bowlers at both open and senior level, John Roberts and Rex Johnston. Roberts needed a three to force a tie and with his last bowl trailed the jack to hold a definite two with a measure for the third. Unperturbed, Johnston drew a toucher with his final bowl to reduce the count to two and ensure a single shot victory for Zone 11 59-58.
They now face off against Zone 2 in tomorrow morning’s semi final while Zone 16 play Zone 9 in the other match. For a recap of all rink scores and upcoming fixtures in the Senior Inter-Zone Championship, click the link below.