SENIOR PAIRS WINNERS – Sue Byrne and Vicki Bartrop
27 February 2019
It was a beautiful day at Chatswood BC for the final of this year’s District Senior Pairs played between Sue Byrne and Vicki Bartrop of St Ives, and newcomers Caroline Duhigg and Robyn Novakovic of Mosman — both of whom have been playing for only 15 months! The St Ives team made a big statement early, trailing the jack close to the ditch and drawing several more bowls in, to take 5 on the 2nd end. However, the Mosman players demonstrated how they had earned a place in the final, levelling scores at 6-all after 6 ends, and then opening up a 6-shot lead 12-6. But a string of multiples to St Ives saw them overtake Mosman and, after 10 ends, St Ives were leading 17-12. With Sue and Vicki looking set to claim another multiple count, Robyn then returned to her “dead-draw” form of the earlier rounds of the championship to claim shot. Having set a shorter length, Robyn again played a beautiful dead-draw with her final bowl to get Mosman within 3 shots on the scoreboard after 14 ends. After the 17th, there was still a difference of only 3, with the score at 21-18. The 18th end saw the position change with almost every bowl from the two skips — with Mosman holding shot, Vicki took the jack back for a potential count of 3, but Robyn countered by playing weight and taking the jack into the ditch, with her toucher 15″ away, narrowing the margin to only two, 21-19. After nerves appeared to kick in and both Leads mis-rolled the jack, the 19th end was played “ditch to ditch” which suited Sue’s game perfectly, and she made all three of her bowls count for St Ives to pull away to 24-19. Rolling the jack long again on the 20th, Sue had the better of the leading contest and St Ives were holding two when Robyn trailled the jack; unfortunately, it sliced away from her bowl, giving St Ives 2 shots and the match, 26-19. Spectators were most impressed with the abilities and passion for the sport demonstrated by the new Mosman players; however, with multiple District- and Regional-champion Vicki skipping the team, the greater experience of the St Ives players brought them home (even though lead Sue still qualifies as an Under 5 years player herself)!