The 2023/24 Open Fours Championship at Tuross Head Bowling Club has been finalised after the playing of the semi-finals and final. It was interested to note that the finalists had equal number of female and male players.
In one semi final Chris Coddington, Rose Farrington, Carol Williams and Marcel Kors played Mick Challice, Di Challice, Margaret Downey and Ray Downey. Kors’ side had a great start based on some excellent bowls from Farrington and Williams and after 8 ends had good 13 – 4 lead. Downey slowly worked away at the deficit as the game became very tight.
With three ends to play Kors’ lead had been reduced to 20 – 16 with the result in the balance. However, over the last three ends Williams and Farrington again played the key bowls to give their side the advantage. In the end they advance to the final with a 23 – 17 victory.
In the other semi – final Peter Macdonald, Bruce Lidbury, Irene Macdonald and Denise Lidbury had a great struggle against Rita Downie, Doreen Monks, Allan Etheredge and Noel Downie. Downie had the better of the first half of the game and had set up a 10 – 4 advantage after 13 ends.
Returning to the green after a period out with injury, Bruce Lidbury (playing second!) then inspired a remarkable change in the game. The Lidbury side picked up 10 shots over three ends including a crucial 6 shots on the 15th end that gave them the lead 14 – 10!
The remaining five ends were very close with the sides sharing the spoils. The damage had been done and Downie was unable to close the gap. Lidbury’s side progressed to the final winning 19 – 13!
The final was played in very trying conditions with the strong, gusty winds making it very difficult for all players! Despite this the final was a very closely fought battle with all of the players contributing to the their teams. Both sides started this game as they did in the semi – finals – Kors had a solid start while Lidbury was slow to get away. After 8 ends Kors had a 10 to 2 advantage.
From this stage the game changed. The Lidbury quartet gradually had an impact on the scoreboard. They won the next 7 ends and by the fifteenth end had hit the lead 11 to 10. While they dominated this period they could not record a big score. They scored a single shot on 5 of the ends and two shots on the other 2.
The sixteenth end proved to one of two key ends in the final stages of the match. Lidbury’s side had dominated the head and at one stage held 4 or 5 shots – just what they needed. But as luck would have it a bowl from the Kors’ side was bumped into the head to give them the shot and allowed them to draw level at 11 all!
Lidbury won the 17th end by a single shot to give them a 12 – 11 lead. The 18th end was the second key end. Play had been very even until Kors bowled two excellent bowls to give his side the end by three shots and the lead 14 – 12. While Denise Lidbury struck back with a great bowl on the 19th end she only managed to pick up a single shot and they still trailed by a shot. All of the Kors side played well on the last two ends to steer their side to a hard fought victory 16 – 13!
Congratulations to both sides for their great efforts across the competition!