Bowlers came from three states for the highly successful Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club’s Easter bowls tournament at the weekend. 

The tournament carried a total of $6600 in prizemoney, making it one of the biggest events on the NSW Easter bowls calendar. Bowlers came from clubs as far apart as the Gold Coast and South Australia – altogether almost 20 clubs were represented and the programme ran so smoothly, most of them are listed to return in 2023.

The main event was the Gunnedah Mazda traditional pairs for the inaugural Peter Green Memorial on Friday and Saturday, won by the father-son combination of skip Steve Clark (Monavale BC) and son Ray (Burleigh Heads) from another father-son pairing of local bowls co-ordinator Scott Thorning and son Tim, who skipped the team.

The Clarks collected $2200 in prizemoney and the Thornings shared $1100, with beaten semi-finalists, Fred Hall and Matt Hooker (West Tamworth BC) and Darren Worrell (Baradine) and Phil Saville (Wauchope), each receiving $500.

Skip Steve Clark described the win as a “great thrill.”

“It’s such a great experience playing with your son in a tournament like this, and even better when you win it. The whole weekend was run so well, we’ll be back for sure next year.”

Clark is a vastly experienced bowler, who has won a steady stream of club championships at several Sydney clubs, including Belrose, Harbord and Mona Vale, as well as zone and representative achievements.

The Thornings were in fine touch over the weekend, winning all their round matches and the quarter final and semi-final in convincing fashion. They led early in the final but lost ground when they dropped seven shots on two ends, going down 12-7 in the eight-end play-off.

The tournament was a timely hit-out for 14-year-old Tim Thorning, who has qualified for the singles and four play-offs at the NSW junior 
championships at Warrilla BC this week.

Sunday’s event was the Gunnedah Automotive and Aristocrat Alternating Pairs on Sunday, won in commanding style by Gunnedah pairing of Dylan Eather and Sam Pryor, who finished the three preliminary rounds with a shots surplus of 38 – 25 shots better than their nearest rivals. 

Eight teams qualified for the play-offs and Eather-Pryor raced through the elimination matches, easily downing the Tweeds BC pairing of Ellen Joselin and Shane O’Toole in the final to share the $1100 prizemoney. The runners-up collected $660.  There was a strong local performance from Jo Briggs and Craig Cameron (Gunnedah), who battled their way to the last four, collecting $220. 

Visiting bowlers came from far-flung clubs, including Burleigh Heads, Tweed Heads, Henley BC (South Australia), Canberra, Maitland City, Halekulani, Davistown (Central Coast), Wauchope, Tamworth, Barraba, Baradine, Werris Creek and Wee Waa, as well as city clubs Mona Vale, Birrong, Avalon and Guildford.

Bowls co-ordinator Scott Thorning said everything had “run like clockwork.”

“The atmosphere over the whole weekend was great. We had wonderful support from our sponsors and volunteers and the bowlers co-operated really well to keep the matches running. Everyone was very grateful to Kerry Daniels, of Baradine, who was the recorder all weekend and didn’t miss a beat.

“We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.” 

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