A jubilant Wayne Van Maastricht has claimed the title of 2019 NSW Rookies Singles State Champion, claiming victory in the final played at Raymond Terrace Bowling Club.
The Club Maitland City bowler was a convincing 17-7 winner in the final, staving off all efforts from Josh Reynolds of Merewether.
Van Maastricht booked his place in the title decider with a solid semi-final victory, beating Gary Lynam (Towradgi Park) 17-7
Reynolds entered the final as favourite on the back of a masterful semi-final display. Reynolds showed superb touch record a dominant 17-4 victory over Peter Farrell (The Hills District). Farrell played better than the score-line suggested, several times he played what appeared to be a fantastic effort only to get the ‘poor rub of the green’. Farrell’s wrong side of the luck aside, Reynolds constantly peppered the jack and was deserved winner.
Following his extra-end loss in the Rookies Pairs final, Van Maastricht was determined to end his Rookies career on a high note and rose to the occasion on all of the big occasions of the Singles decider.
Before the Semi-Finals, Mick Bell (who pioneered the Rookies tournaments) presented the Encouragement Award named in his honour. Mick was pleased to announce David Sheather of Cabarita Beach as the recipient for 2019. The catch-cry of the Rookies is “Have a Crack”, encouraging players to get out and get involved and embrace lawn bowls and play the game with a great sense of fun and sportsmanship. David played his matches in great spirit and despite narrowly missing out on the semi-finals was overjoyed just to be out on the green competing. He has been inspired to ‘have a crack’ after being given a new lease of life in recent years after a liver transplant. He also considered himself lucky to be on the greens at the state finals, only having bandages off the middle finger of his bowling hand after a recent crush injury.
Raymond Terrace Bowling Club was thanked for their continued support, having been wonderful hosts of the Finals Series since the Rookies was adopted as a State event in 2009.