Tuross Head Bowling Club pennant sides had a successful weekend with both sides recording wins in the latest round of the 2023 Open Gender Pennants. The Grade 5 side was too strong for Moruya and consolidated their place at the top of the competition table. The Grade 7 side continued its run of close matches with their second win over Malua Bay not coming until the last couple of ends were played out.

The Grade 5 side played Moruya at home with the visitors depleted by player unavailability due to sickness and other factors. Tuross managed to win all three rinks. Sue Fahey, Col Fletcher, John Fahey and Denise Lidbury had the closest match sneaking home 20 – 18. Ivan Balentovic was back to his very best form as he starred in his side 28 -14 win. He teamed with Des Jackson, Irene Macdonald and John Monks for the excellent win. In the third rink Margaret Downey, Rose Farrington, Marcel Kors and Bruce Lidbury were too strong for their opposition and ran out winners 25 – 11.

As a result Tuross won the match 10 – 0 scoring 73 shots to 43 shots. Other results on the weekend shows that Bodalla are looming as the real threat. Tuross are leading on 46.5 points with Bodalla on 30.50 but Bodalla has a game in hand as they have already had their two byes. It appears that their return match on April 22 could well determine who wins the right to move onto the Zone playoffs on May 6 and 7.

The Grade 7 side travelled to Malua Bay for their game and their win dented Malua Bay’s chances of making the Zone playoffs. John Wagstaff, Damar Voges, Graham Garner and Allen Etheredge lead the way for Tuross. They had a great start on their rink and set up a 13 – 0 lead after 7 ends. By the 14th end they had moved to a 21 – 5 advantage before the locals staged a fightback. However, Tuross was able to win 23 – 14.

The other two rinks were very close. Michael Challice, Carol Williams, Doug Williams and Ray Downey had a very tight match that was locked at 11 all after 14 ends. Malua Bay skipped out to a 18 – 13 lead with two ends to play. Tuross steadied and won the crucial last two ends to go down 18 – 17.

Bill Burch, Ray Brown, Di Challice and Lorraine Bird fought back from a slow start to also go down 18 -17. For the second game in a row they won the majority of ends but faltered on one end where they dropped 5 shots. They had clawed their way to the lead at 15 – 12 after 18 ends after being down 10 – 5 on the 10th end.

The loss of 5 shots on the 19th end resulted in them dropping behind on their rink as well as the Tuross lead on the ‘big board’ being reduced to 51 – 49 with four ends to play. Etheredge’s rink had finished with Bird and Downey both needing to play two ends. Bird went down by 1 on the 20th end while Downey was able to pick up one to leave the margin at 2 shots at 52 – 50. Holding their nerve both Tuross teams won the 21st ends. Bird picked up 2 shots while Downey scored 3! This meant that Tuross won 57 – 50! They scored a 8 – 2 victory. Tuross are out of the running for the playoffs and Malua Bay will need to beat Bermagui in their next match to have any hope.

There is no pennant over Easter with the Grade 5 travelling to Braidwood on April 15 and the Grade 7 at home to Moruya