WARREN Cocksedge from Taree Leagues has won the Zone 11 open singles bowling title for 2021 after a titanic battle with Jason Aurisch from Tuncurry Beach in the final.
This match went right down to the wire, with the final score being 31-30.
In the semi-finals Warren defeated Matt Pearce from Harrington 31-22. After being down 12-20, Warren powered home, winning nine of the last 10 ends to book his place in the final. Jason also had to come from behind in his semi against Mark Robinson from Taree Leagues. Jason trailed 9-16 before scoring consecutive fours to bridge the gap. Mark did not give up the fight, with shots being traded back and forth.
Scores were locked at 23-23, and 25-25, before Jason edged away for a narrow 31-28 win.
The final began with Warren right in the groove, winning six of the first seven ends to open up a 9-2 lead. Jason was trying to fight back, but Warren was playing too well and extended his lead to 17-5. Jason then began to find his game, and slowly started to whittle away at the deficit.
Still trailing at 14-22, he then won four straight ends, scoring nine shots in the process, to gain a slender 23-22 lead.
Warren responded, scoring four singles to regain the lead. Jason was not giving up, and came back with fives shots and led 28-26.
The lead changed once again when Warren scored a 3 and a 1 to sit on the cusp of winning, on 30. The next two ends were full of drama. Jason had a golden chance for victory when holding 2 shots and had the last bowl to play. Warren's closest bowl was two feet behind, and Jason only had to beat this bowl for the win.
To his dismay, he fell short and narrow. The scores were now all locked up at 30-30. Whoever won the next end was champion. Jason must have thought he may have played the winner when his first bowl nailed the jack, finishing just a half bowl wide, and touching the jack. Warren, given the circumstances, then played what was probably the bowl of the match. With just the minimum amount of weight he nudged Jason's bowl, moving the jack just a few inches and following it with his bowl to hold the shot. Despite Jason's best efforts he was unable to either dislodge the bowl, or trail the jack, and Warren was the champion.
President's reserve singles
THE final of the presidents reserve singles (for players grade five and under) was also played with Shannon King-Mokaraka (Tuncurry Beach) playing John Bown (Taree Leagues).
This also proved to be quite the struggle, with a very close final score. Shannon got out to an early 6-3 lead, but this proved to short lived as John came back to then lead 10-8. Shannon then went on quite the run, scoring 16 shots to 4, and have a very handy 24-14 lead. John then made a little run and reduced the deficit to just 4 shots at 25-21. Shannon wanted to finish this and got to within sight of the finish on 29. John was not going to let this go, and kicked again, scoring 7 shots, and the score was now just 29-28, anyone's game. Shannon, down 2, then drew the shot with his last bowl of the end to get to 30. He then applied the pressure, and had John playing weighted shots in a desperate attempt to stay in it.
This was not to be and Shannon ran out a 31-28 winner.
Congratulations to Warren and Shannon, and also to Steve Pell, our Senior Singles winner. All of these players have now progressed to the State Finals to be played at Ettalong in August.
WITH just two rounds to go, and maybe a washed out game to be played, we are now getting to the pointy end of the pennant season.
Grade 2: With a massive 23 point lead, Forster should wrap this up against Tuncurry at the weekend.
Grade 3: Forster are again the leaders, but not so clear cut. With games against 2nd and 3rd placed Sporties and Old Bar to finish the year, the next game is critical for everyone.
Grade 4: Black Head are the new leaders after Palms loss to Bulahdalah. Harrington are also lurking. This grade is far from decided.
Grade 5: Manning Point are 15 point leaders, and barring catastrophe, should take this out.
Grade 6: Railway lead by 10 from Tuncurry. Tuncurry need to keep winning so as to force the wet match against Railway to be played. The next two rounds will be interesting.
Grade 7/1: Gloucester have a handy lead from Wingham, who can not afford any slip ups in the last 2 rounds if they are to have any chance.
Grade 7/2: The clash between leaders Palms and second placed Forster on Saturday could decide this grade. A win for Palms and it is all over. A win for Forster opens the door, with Palms having a bye in the last round.