TITLES don’t come easy and the road to winning this one was like a road full of potholes waiting to trap you and jolt you into sheer concentration.
The semi-finals on Saturday certainly attested to that.
On rink three Wally Hall and Lyle Stuart faced Jeff Black and John Zarb while on rink five John (Chippy) Le Carpentier (sub for Barry Smithers) and Neil Macpherson faced Dennis McKeveney and Ian Gilbert.
Both games were tough with Team Zarb defeating Team Stuart 27–10 in a hotly contested game while Team Gilbert defeated Team Macpherson in a real nail biter of a game with the score locked at 19 all on completion of end 20.
With the spectator gallery almost hanging out of the clubhouse windows Chippy (Team Macpherson) played an absolute dead draw resting on the kitty supposedly spelling the end for the opposition but, staring at defeat with just one bowl left to play, Ian Gilbert took aim, hit the target bowl gently pushing the kitty back a metre and yes, going one shot up, clinching victory from the jaws of defeat giving his team a birth in the final.
Then came Sunday, Team Gilbert and Team Zarb took their rightful place in the final, stepped on the green under the watchful eye of umpire Ben Vernon-Rogers and the battle began.
In ideal conditions for bowls with a gentle breeze all afternoon and sunshine galore, both teams played a very close game indeed with the first eight ends fairly even then Dennis and Ian took charge of the scoreboard for the following five ends.
Staying cool calm and collected, Jeff and John managed to regain the mat on the 14th end then on the 15th with three shots down, Jeff executed the shot of the day with a forehand delivery gently pushing the kitty back turning the tables on the opposition changing the score from three down to five up with the scoreboard showing 15–17 in favour of Dennis and Ian.
From then on it became a case of hold on to whatever shots were available until Jeff and John took the mat for three of the remaining four ends to take the match and the title with a final score of 22 -18.