The Tuross Head Men’s Bowling Club’s Minor Singles Championship has been finalised following a keenly contested final series.  This event is for the newer and less experienced players who have as yet not won a singles championship.

Bruce Magilton played Warren Hodder in the first quarter final.  The game was very competitive for the first 16 ends with Magilton just ahead at 13 – 11.  At this stage Magilton was able to take control of the game.  He won the next 7 ends to run out a comfortable 25 – 11 winner.

Jonathan Green played Chris Coddington and had a great start jumping to a 5 – 0 lead after just 2 ends. Coddington gradually bridged the gap and by the 12th end he was behind 9 – 12.  Green then took charge.  He won 7 of the next 8 ends to take the match 25 – 10.

Two of the newest members had a great battle when Phil Welsh took on Mark Velder.  Welsh had a dream start to his competitive bowling career when he established a 13 – 0 lead after 6 ends.  Velder then started to pick up his game .  After 11 ends Welsh led 15 – 7 but he had another spurt in scoring to extend his lead to 22 – 7.

It was then Velder’s turn to dominate play.  By the 22nd end he was right back in the game with Welsh only 2 shots ahead at 23 – 21.  It was remarkable recovery by Velder but he could not maintain the push.  On the next end Welsh closed out an exciting win 26 – 21.

Geoff Lee – 2023/24 Minor Singles Champion

Geoff Lee and Steve Affleck played the last quarter final.  The game was very even for the first 7 ends with Lee just ahead 9 – 7.  However, the critical element in the game was established in these ends – Lee was able to pick up big multiples in the ends he won including two scores of 4 shots.  This was the pattern for the game.  After 17 ends Lee was ahead 17 – 12 but Affleck had won more ends – 9 to Lee’s 8!  Lee’s consistency, however won the day.  He picked up 8 shots on the next 3 ends to win 25 – 12.

The first semi-final between Welsh and Magilton proved to be the game of the finals.  The game was competitive from the start with the players locked at 8 all after 8 ends and 15 all after 16 ends!  Welsh was the first to make a move when he won 5 of the next 6 ends to push ahead 22 – 16.  Magilton then showed his experience with a determined fightback  that saw him win 6 ends in a row to take the lead and move within one shot of victory at 24 – 22.

Welsh stopped the run and set up a final end shoot out when he picked up 2 shots to draw level at 24 all. Magilton had the better of the last end and looked the likely winner when he held two shots but, with his last bowl, Welsh managed to draw between the two bowls to snatch the shot needed for victory.  A disappointed Magilton could not match this bowl and bowed out of the competition.

Phil Welsh – 2023/24 Minor Singles Runner Up

The second semi-final also promised to be a great game with two in-form players – Jonathan Green and Geoff Lee – meeting.  The game was tight early with Lee leading 6 – 4 after 7 ends.  Lee made the first significant move winning the next 3 ends to set up a 13 – 4 advantage.  Green steadied and reduced the lead winning his share of ends but it wasn’t until the 18th end that he managed to pick up a big score of 3 shots to narrow the margin to 17 – 12

Lee’s consistency came to the fore at this stage and he dominated the final ends to record an excellent win 25 – 13.

Lee and Welsh met in the final and it was clear from the start that both players were understandably affected by the nerves of playing in their first final.  Welsh was able to strike first and won the first couple of ends but Lee quickly settled down and demonstrated both his skill and experience in taking control of the game.  After 7 ends he lead 10 – 3 and never lost control of the game.

Lee adapted to the conditions of the day and the green to dominate play.  To his credit Welsh fought hard and on most ends restricted Lee to single shots.  It was the pressure that Lee exerted by always having bowls in the head that made it hard for Welsh.  The final score of 25 – 5 did not reflect how well Welsh played but it was a reward for Lee’s great draw bowling and consistency.  Lee richly deserved the victory!  Congratulations to both players.  A big thank you to all the other Club members who assisted by marking the games!