Photograph:Ian Glover
I Glover, Monday, 15 August 2016


           How could the Zone Open Pairs final result be 

                  described as a close game  . . . or 

                 "an absolute contradiction in terms"?      



HOW could the Zone Open final be possibly described as a close game with with a final score of 24-15?  

To say it was right up there among the top Zone Pairs Finals seen for many years could well be an under statement, and if you weren't there, more's the pity.

Without question, the Mona Vale pair of Steve Clark and Adam Glew were the better side, well they had to be didn't they with a winning margin of 9 shots.

However, when ends are determined by mere millimetres, whether they be dead draws or fractionally close misses in an endeavour to move the jack a matter of centimetres for two or possibly three shots, it's the ultimate in the art of draw bowling.

Time and again Steve Smith or Mark "Doc" Alexander would play shots such as the above, only to be either rolled out or be out-drawn by their opposite number.

Having said all that the game commenced with entirely different tactics from the Mona Vale pair, who literally drove at anything remotely close to the jack, often with resounding results.

It's worth mentioning here that the focus of the many supporters who were there, ostensibly to cheer on their mates in the other finals had an undeniable compulsion to become totally engaged with this final.     

Possibly after they dropped a 4 on the third end they realised there's another facet of the game and maybe could achieve so much more by simply drawing which proved very effective, as they kept Harbord on four while they reached eleven. After Harbord managed three intermittent ones and were on the 16th end the board showed M.V. 22-Harbord 7.

On the very next end Harbord picked up a glorious handful, followed by a one, which produced a glimmer of hope, then another and yet another, however the ends were clicking over faster than a taxi meter.

The obvious question arises. Why or how did Harbord wait until the seventeenth end to get their act together, because M.V. have never shown Harbord any compassion?

For those who weren't in attendance there's a simple answer: Harbord's TV green is the first to receive the winter club house shadow and due to the 2 p.m. start, the tiffy pace had dropped quite dramatically. It took both sides several ends to adjust and had Harbord found their length a little earlier then the end result may have been different.

In the end there was no real disappointment by the Harbord duo with Steve and Mark both open in their praise of the Mona Vale boys and admitting that, despite their own great game, the team who played the best bowls had won on the day.

RESULTS OF OPEN SEMI FINALS: S. Clark/A. Glew 21 def. J. Brown/S. Ashdown (Belrose) 18; S. Smith/M. Alexander 26 def. P. Joel/C. Carey (St Ives) 12