Very well done to the Belrose team of Jeyam Siva and Billie Maas, who played in the State Open Pairs play-offs at Tamworth this week and reached the final, putting up a good fight against the Raymond Terrace team of Kate Matthews and Genevieve Delves. Against the team who would have to have been the favourites in the 16-Region field, our North Shore girls started well in the strong wind on a very fast green, got their noses in front, and maintained a lead until after the 7th end. However, after dropping 4 shots on the 8th, the girls found it hard to make an impact on the Raymond Terrace duo, with Kate Matthews leading beautifully under the direction of Genevieve Delves, who was fresh from taking out a string of major titles in the last couple of months: Australian Open Pairs Champion, Australian Indoor Singles Champion, NSW Singles Champion and NSW Triples Champion. With the score at 17-7 after the 12th end, it looked as though Raymond Terrace had pretty much booked their spot in the Australian Championships. Then Jeyam and Billie won four ends in a row and narrowed the margin to just 4 shots, 13-17, with two ends remaining. However, Raymond Terrace scored 2 on the 17th. Belrose then needed 6 shots on the last end, in a bid to play an extra end. With Raymond Terrace holding shot and not enough Belrose bowls in catching positions, Billie managed to hit the jack but it failed to go out of bounds to kill the end, staying 50cm inside the boundary line. On the very fast green, a small touch on the outside of the jack would have sent the jack across to waiting Belrose bowls, giving them a glimmer of hope to add their remaining bowls to the count; but it was not to be. By the time Billie went to play her final bowls, there was still the chance of a small touch on the inside of the jack to send it out of bounds; however, her bowls fought with the wind, taking pace off them and sending them further across the rink. The resulting single shot to Belrose put the final score at 19-14 to Raymond Terrace (their smallest winning margin of the championship), and our girls came away very excited and happy State runners-up.
In the other WBNSW championship events contested by North Shore last week, the Belrose Open Fours team skipped by Benita Andrews played strongly in their opening round against Bronwyn McPherson’s team from Taren Point, going down narrowly 16-19, and the Belrose Triples team skipped by Billie Maas had a very close first round match against the Tuncurry Beach team skipped by Sarah Boddington, going down by 1 shot 15-16. All in all, a great performance by our representatives.