Matthew and Paul Goddard have taken out the 2019 NSW State Rookies Pairs laying claim to be the first ever State Champions from Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen’s Bowling Club and also the first brothers to be State Rookies after winning the finals played at Raymond Terrace Bowling Club .
The Rookies competition limits entry to bowlers who have come to the sport in recent times, all players must have taken up the sport in the last 30 months and players are only permitted to enter Rookies events twice. Games are also played differently from traditional format. Each player plays 3 bowls and games are played over 12 ends. The shortened format allows more games to be played in day, giving the Rookies a chance to get out and meet more people.
Well over 200 pairs entered the 2019 Rookies Pairs, the field whittled down to 16 Zone Champions to contest the State Finals from qualifying held all over NSW.
Those Zone Champions played off in four sections of four to find the semi-finalists.
The Shoalhaven ‘Exies’ pair captured the title after the getting the better of Club Maitland City duo Mick Ryan and Wayne Van Maastrict in a cliff hanger decider. The Goddards clawed back to even scores after the 12th end, sending the final to a sudden death extra end.
The Maitland City duo looked to have the title in their keeping until the last bowl of ‘regulation time’ when Paul Goddard played a running shot to move the jack. Matthew leapt for joy believing that his sibling had played the Championship winning bowl. However, showing great sportsmanship the players realised that Paul’s last bowl had gone into the ditch and was out of play, leaving the final tied.
Shoalhaven appeared to have played the bowls to win the game again, but Van Maastricht’s running shot clipped a bowl onto the jack and appeared to have turned the tide. Goddard once again stepped up, playing a superb draw shot that proved to be the winner.
The Goddards booked their berth to the final with a hard fought 12-9 victory over Alistair McGhee & Carl Spilker of Bowral, edging ahead in the closing stages of the game, while the Club Maitland City combination finished strongly to eliminate Greg Goff & Greg Symes from Tuncurry Sporties.
Earlier, the Mick Bell Encouragement Award – named in honour of the ‘Father of the NSW Rookies and recognising the pair that competes with a great spirit of sportsmanship, fair play and a joy to be playing – was award to Junee Father & Son combination Neil and Ethan Sainsbury.
Bowls NSW thanks Raymond Terrace bowling club for their continued support of the Bowls NSW Rookies.
Play continues in the Rookies Finals with the Singles (Sunday 24 November)