TAREE Railway are the State champions following the NSW No 6 pennant bowls finals at South Tamworth.
Railway qualified for the State playoffs by winning the Zone 11 flag. This was the first time in nearly 20 years that Railway has won a pennant.
The side won section two comfortably, finishing on 29.5 points out of a possible 30 to be well clear of second played Dubbo City on 18. Ramsgate and Forestville RSL were the other sides in the section. Railway then had a closely contested 61-52 decision over Nelson Bay in the semi-final to set up an all Mid North Coast the final against Kempsey Macleay.
Here Railway prevailed 65-59, winning two of the three rinks. A 27-14 victory by Warwick Dunne, Karl Cunningham, Ken Minto and Ray Cooper was decisive.
Other team members were Kym Delves, Steve Smith, Barry Hetherington, Craig Rahill; Eric Whitton, Ron Nuttal, Reg Wallis and Dave Crowe.
“It was down to the wire, it came down to the last two ends. We were neck and neck,” Railway’s Crag ‘Plucka’ Rahill told the Northern Daily Leader.
“We dropped a really bad six which then gave Kempsey a shot at redemption but our team rallied.
“We put in some precision bowls and they were trying to kill it to replay the last end but we got there.
“It was a big effort from a little club.”
The effort was mighty but the win wasn’t unexpected, well not this year anyway.
This was the first time for 16 or 17 years the club has taken out a flag – zone or State – according to Plucka.
But this year the side had something special and it was shown in the opening rounds of the finals. A display described by Plucka as “very strong”.
“Working together, cohesion,” Plucka said when asked what made this team special.
“If one failed, another would pick up the pieces.
“And a lot of heart helps.
“We battled on, [we wouldn't] just say ‘we’re getting beaten by five let’s lie down’, we’d turn it around.”
There was almost a double celebration at Railway, with the zone winning No 7 side beaten in the final 60-56 by Woy Woy.
Team members were Bruce Storum, Warren Gray, Shane Wilkinson, Greg Stanford; Black McIntosh, Andy Taylor, Rob Wyatt, Robert Reeves; Adam Abbott, Rick Davis, Sid Vandine, Tom Henry.