A great year of bowls for Mal Drury

Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week

Mal Drury – bowls

Taree West bowler Mal Drury is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week.

Taree West bowler Mal Drury is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week.

HELPING defend the senior State pairs championship next year will be the number one priority for Taree West bowler Mal Drury.

Drury teamed with Errol Ruprecht to win the championship at the finals played on the Central Coast recently. It capped when has been a great year on the greens for the 65-year-old Drury. However, he knows success can a fickle thing.

“Rupey (Ruprecht) wants us to go again to try and defend the championship, so I suppose we’ll give to try. But we might only last one game – we could get beaten by a local team and it’s all over,’’ he said.

“That’s the way it is with bowls.’’

Drury is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sporstar of the Week, winning a $50 open order at Iguana. He was nominated by Taree West men’s bowling club.

Drury was the lead and Ruprecht the skip as the Taree West combo started their march to the State finals in the Zone 11 pairs. A hard fought win over Peter Rumble and Robert Austin in the zone decider saw them qualify for State.

“I wasn’t sure how we'd go (at State), but Errol said we’d win it – then again, he’s always pretty confident,’’ Drury laughed.

A win in the opening round over a high rated side from Warilla set up their campaign. Drury and Ruprecht secured a final berth with a win in a closely contested semi-final, where Drury said Ruprecht played the shot of the game – a resting toucher – to secure the final berth.

“It was a brilliant bowl in the context of the game,’’ he said.

The final only lasted 17 ends, with their opponents conceding with the score at 27-6.

Drury said other than a couple of what he described as ‘rough patches’ he’s happy with the way he maintained form. His next major assignment will be the zone fours championship starting next month. Earlier in 2016 he was a member of the winning triples side at Taree West, where, ironically, Ruprecht was in the opposing team in the final.

Drury is a semi-regular on greens around the district.

“I don’t want to play all the time – but I enjoy social bowls, helping blokes out who are starting in the game. I’m in the triples comp at Taree West on Wednesdays with Norm Taylor, who is coming along really well,’’ he said.

He came into bowls from rugby league, cricket and touch football.

Drury has been a member of Taree West’s No 1 pennant side for some years, although the club will drop down to twos in 2018.

He admits his left knee gives him a bit of grief these days.

“It’s still going alright now, but for how long you don’t know,’’ he said.