THE FOURTH BOWL PROVED A GAME CHANGER IN THE OPEN SINGLE'S FINAL
ZONE 2019 SINGLE'S FINALISTS: STEVE SMITH and PAUL LECKEY (WINNER)
SUNDAY'S DIABOLICAL WEATHER
FORECAST PROVED TO BE A
BLESSING IN DISGUISE
A cold and blustery south-westerly wind may have been far from ideal for zone single's play offs, however it proved to be far better than predicted forecast.
Had the promise of continuous rain come to fruition, a postponement was inevitable, and a created a double problem, particularly as the zone pair's is scheduled for this weekend.
Occasionally the intensity and close scores in semi finals are deserved of the final.
Although not so on Sunday, as the all day spectators who braved the arctic-like conditions were rewarded with an exciting double.
As two of the semi finalists are "men of the turf" . . . one could be described one as the "smokey" in the field.
The name Chris Bailey wasn't a name on most bowling lips, although all that changed throughout the rounds that led to the Open Single's semis.
More particularly his winning trifecta included three past winners.
Neither Chris or his opponent and grade one pennant mate, Steve Smith could have envisaged an ensuing marathon 40 end semi final.
Their game developed into a tit for tat one or two shot affair until until the 33rd end where Steve was on the springboard at 28-24.
Steve then agonised on 30 for four ends, as Chris clawed his way up to equalise, then normal breathing resumed when Steve fell over the line.
MARKER: BOB ABDALLAH UMPIRE: STEVE GIBSON
THE FINAL . . . THE DREADED FOURTH BOWL
The other finalist, Paul Leckey had time to spare after his win over James Brown (Belrose), led early then dropped a four.
Then the varied playing lengths were dispensed with and both players settled for longer ends.
There was never much in the scores, although the game pattern was interesting.
When a player had the mat, he would retain it for possibly three or four ends, then his opponent would repeat the exercise.
Due to the gusting wind, a player could hold a multiple, then agonise as the opposition's fourth bowl finished millimetres from the jack.
In these situations Paul's ability and concentration frequently produced devastating turn arounds.
With Steve 28-27 and the game well and truly in the balance, Paul produced a two, followed by two singles.
A final that under the conditions deservedly the equal to the best.
FINAL SCORE: Paul Leckey 31 def. Steve Smith 28
MARKER: TERRY WARDER. UMPIRE: STEVE GIBSON