THE Taree Leagues combination of Nathan Butler and Warren Cocksedge have taken out the Zone 11 bowls open pairs championship from the Tuncurry Beach duo of Kris Murtagh and Jason Aurisch.
In what can only be described as an absolute cliff hanger the match went to an extra end to decide the winner. The Leagues team began well with a five on the third end to lead 6-1.
Murtagh and Aurisch won six of the next eight ends, and while they weren't scoring big, they were chipping away at the lead to level the scores at 9-9 after 11 ends. Leagues then went on a run of their own, scoring six shots to three to lead 15-12 after 17 ends.
Tuncurry then scored their own five and Leagues responded with a 2, and the scores were locked at 17-17 on 19 ends. Tuncurry the scored a one to lead with one end to play. The shot changed several times during this end, and with the last bowl Cocksedge was holding one and had a chance to draw another for game, but just failed.
So, to an extra end, and what a beauty it was. With the title on the line the players responded accordingly, with the shot changing with almost every bowl until, with his last bowl, Aurisch just failed to convert, and the title went to Butler and Cocksedge.
In the semis Murtagh and Aurisch led throughout to defeat Ron Carder and Laurie Keene (Pacific Palms) 27-9 while Butler and Cocksedge also led all the way to defeat Matt Pearce and Craig Colligan (Harrington) 21-13.
In the final of the senior pairs Noel James and Rex Johnston (Tuncurry Beach) were too good for Mal Drury and Errol Ruprecht (Taree West), coming away with a 28-13 win.
After scoring a five on the first end James and Johnston kept the foot down and after seven ends led 15-4. Drury and Ruprecht managed a three and a four on consecutive ends late in the game, but this bird had already flown by then, and James and Johnston closed it out with a three and one to finish the game.
In the semis Drury and Ruprecht defeated John Bowman and Tom Allen (Sporties) 25-21 and James and Johnston were too good for their club mates Wayne Wright and Kevin Robinson 23-14.
In the president's reserve pairs John Bown and Steven Crain (Leagues) had an emphatic 32-4 win over Alan Robards and Ken Southern (Bulahdelah). After leading 10-4 after 8 ends, Brown and Crain went on a run most can only dream about. They won the next 10 ends straight, scoring a massive 21 shots, to absolutely put their stamp on this win. Of the 18 ends played, they won 15.
In the semis Robards and Southern accounted for Corie McDonald and Neil Spencer (Forster) 23-12, and Brown and Crain defeated Troy Nitiken and Paul Knight (Taree West) 23-2.