In the open division, the first semi saw Steve Harris' team from Tuncurry Beach account for the team skipped by Peter Harris from Pacific Palms to the tune of 30-12. The Palms boys led 4-0 early, but then dropped six ends running to trail 16-4, and were never in it from there.
The second semi had Phil Scott-Young (Forster) against Kym Wakefield (Taree Leagues). This was a much closer game, and after 10 ends the Leagues team held a slender 13-12 lead. The Forster team then made what turned out to be a match winning break, scoring 2,3,2,1,2 on consecutive ends to lead 22-13, and go on to win 25-20.
The finalists were Ash Brymer, Kris Murtagh, Jason Aurisch and Steve Harris (TB), against Graeme Coleman, Mick Pole, Barry Duggan and Phil Scott-Young (F). Forster jumped out hard, winning the first three ends and leading 7-0. The Tuncurry team then fought back to level the scores at 8-8.
Forster then surged again, winning four of the next five ends, to have a comfortable 17-11 lead after 12 ends. Tuncurry then scored a 3, and gained control of the mat. They then made a very strategic, and what turned out to be a match winning decision.
They went long, ditch to ditch. What a change that made in the context of the game. Tuncurry were trailing 14- 17 at this stage, they then scored a 6,2,1,3 and 5, to smash their way to a 31-17 lead. Forster then scored a couple of singles, but this was never enough, the final score being 31-19.
The first semi in the seniors was between Dennis Hoye (Old Bar) and Errol Ruprecht (West) and turned out to be a real humdinger. This match really see-sawed, with first one team, then the other gaining control.
Old Bar led early, and with a lot of singles being scored, led 9-3 after 11 ends. West then gained momentum and scored 14 shots to 1 over the next 5 ends, and grabbed control with a 17-10 lead.
This left just five ends to play. Old Bar then scored 1,1,3,2, and the scores were tied with one end to play. Old Bar held the shot, and Errol was unable to dislodge it with his two bowls for a 1 shot win to Old Bar.
The second semi had Ross Logan (Tuncurry Beach, against R Lambourne (Harrington). Except for the first end, Tuncurry were never behind, leading 18-3 after 11 ends, and going on to record a 26-8 win.
The finalists then were Marko Pendlej, David O'Brien, David Brandt and Dennis Hoye (Old Bar), versus Jeff Faulder, John O'Keefe, Grant McKirdy and Ross Logan (Tuncurry Beach).
Old Bar started like they were shot out of a cannon. A 5 on the first end, and a 4 on the third, and just like that they led 9-1. Tuncurry were trying hard, but they had no answer. A recipe for disaster is when you are scoring 1's and the other team are scoring 3's and 2's. Old Bar were always in control and ran out convincing 28-10 winners.
In the first presidents reserve semi, Neville Brymer (Tuncurry Beach) played Jock Milward (Forster). The Forster team gained the ascendancy to lead 10-3 after 10 ends. They then extended this to lead 15-5 after 13 ends.
Tuncurry then won six of the last eight ends, but could not quite close the gap, with Forster winning 18-16. In the second semi Robert Piper (West) was playing Greg Goff (Sporties). Sporties jumped to the lead, winning the first five ends and lead 8-0.
They extended the lead to 10 shots and led 16-6 after 14 ends. West were not giving in, and a six on end 16 saw them get to within 3. Sporties the kicked again to lead 20-13.
Even though West won the last 4 ends, they could not bridge the gap, and Sporties held on for a 20-18 win.
The finalists were Max Brown, Maurie McIntosh, Warren Quigg and Greg Goff (Sporties) against Peter Wakeling, Barry Lambert, John Davies and Anthony "Jock" Milward (Forster).
Forster had the early momentum with a 4 on the first end, but Sporties fought back to tie it all up at 7-7 after nine ends. The Forster team then won the next 4 ends, and jumped out to a 17-7 lead.
Sporties then managed to claw back six shots over the next three ends to reduce the margin to 4. Forster dealt the killer blow on the 18th end, when they scored a 4, and led 22-13 with just the three ends to play. The gap was too big for Sporties, and Forster ran out 23-16 winners.
Congratulations to all the winners, and good luck in the State Finals later in the year.