The 2019 WA Country Interzone Championship has been run and won. The South West Zone prevailed with the winner decided on the final end in their last game against the Eastern Zone.
The win, completed a hat trick of titles for South West with the Shield being accepted by an emotional South West Zone President Bob Plater.(pictured)
Day one saw cold and blustery conditions greet bowlers at the Emu Point club. Southern Zone President Wayne (Buck) Rodgers welcomed officials, players and also Roger Barnes (WA State Men’s Chair of Selectors) and Tony Hockey (State Men’s Coach) who were in attendance. Tournament Director Margie Rance also addressed players and outlined the conditions of play.
The Eastern Zone took the early championship advantage with big wins on Saturday against Southern Zone 122 shots to 79 (4 rinks) in the morning and Northern Zone in the afternoon 110 shots to 84 (3 rinks). The Hayden Smith led rink and the Geoff Main side winning both their games handsomely.
The South West Zone started well beating Northern comfortably 116 shots to 70 (4 rinks) set up by an impressive 32-6 shot win by Matt Pennington and his team over Joe Criddle. However, the were defeated by a determined Southern Zone 104 shots to 100 (3 rinks) in the afternoon. Matty Mitchell and his side won 4 of their last 5 ends against Brad Ball to secure the aggregate. The win by Southern kept their title hopes alive and ensured an exciting day two.
On Sunday the Southern Zone narrowly defeated a regrouped Northern Zone 89 shots to 86 (2 rinks). Wins to John Sharp and Matty Mitchell secured the aggregate despite Northern claiming the three other rink wins.
The South West team were looking for 4 rink wins or 3 rink wins and shots up to overtake Eastern in the final game. Eastern Zone lead South West early with Hayden Smiths side getting away to a big lead early on against Pennington. South West rallied late with Ball picking up good numbers against Bill Fraser. With 3 rink wins looking likely, Mark Simpson and side fought hard to level the scores with one end to play against Geoff Main, they actually held game and the important fourth rink point. However, Eastern skipper Main with his last bowl played weight brilliantly to remove shot bowl and claim the important rink win.
On the next rink and with shots up now critical South West’s Gary Keep who was down 6 shots at the head kept his cool and with his last bowl drew second shot to limit the damage and secure the rink.
That left Bill Fraser and Ball’s rinks to decide the winning zone over the final 3 ends. Fraser who drove accurately throughout the game often saving big numbers, removed the South West shot bowl on the second last end to creep closer. Fraser also drew a second counter on the last end which had the mathematicians working overtime. With his final bowl Ball drove powerfully to sink the jack in the ditch and come to rest next to it for shot and to finish off a wonderful game.
When the dust settled three Zones; Southern, Eastern and South West had all finished on 2 wins and 4 points. Eastern and South West were level on 9 rink wins with South West narrowly winning by a handful of shots.
A very strong Country All Star side was then announced to challenge the State squad later this month. Congratulations to those players selected. Bowlers then departed in different directions to return home.
Congratulations also goes to country players Warren Holt (Wagin), Matty Mitchell (Emu Point) and Russell Bates (Dudley Park) on their selection in the final state squad of 16 players. We wish them well in their endeavours to be selected in the final side of 12.
Finally, a special mention must go to South West’s heroic Skipper Robbie Tiller. He returned to Mandurah on Saturday night after two games in Albany to celebrate and honour a family commitment and was back by 8am Sunday to play bowls. A 900km return trip.
Thankyou goes to the Southern Zone and Emu Point Club for hosting this year’s event and all the volunteers. Next year’s Interzone championship will be held in Kalgoorlie.
M Simpson, M Ayres, G Keep, R Bates
H Smith, P Jones, G Main, R Moselle
J Sharp, M France, R Plant, R Schinzig
J Smith, M Pennington, C Russell, G Watson
P Manning, B King, T O'Brien, S O'Brien
R Tiller, B Ball, C Schell, J Cowie
The 2019 WA Interzone Country Championship will be held at the picturesque Emu Point Bowling Club in Albany on the 2nd and 3rd of February. Albany was recently voted the second best holiday destination in Australia to visit and offers so many attractions to visiting players. If time permits players should take time to explore the National Anzac centre, or natural attractions like The Gap and Natural Bridge.
The Emu Point Bowling club has two Evergreen Synthetic greens that were opened in late 2017. For players staying around Emu Point there is a café near the jetty, restaurants at nearby Middleton Beach or those venturing into town check out the popular watering hole Due South near Princes Royal Harbour.
All four Country zones can claim strong chances to this year's title after such a close event last year in Dalwallinu. After two rounds all four zones were in contention. Eventual winners last year were the South West Zone.
The Southern Zone could well be considered favourite's on their home greens this year with high profile recruits in current and former State representatives Matty Mitchell and John Sharp.
Forming a formidable back end is multiple WA state champion and 179 state game representative, John Goddard. The only question mark here is how much support such talent can receive from their front end players. The tiny Moodiarrup club will be represented by Richard Shinzig and Geoff Hosking. Notable absentees this year include Rosenthal Medallist Warren Holt and Mark Wunnenburg.
The South West Zone, looking to go back to back this year welcome the likes of former UK representative Robbie Tiller alongside established ex Perth Metro stars in Matty Ayres and Brad Ball.
Russ Bates and Scott O’Brien who both stared in the Everest of Bowls this year will form a formidable front end to this year's team. This side has real depth with Mark Simpson and the Pennington brothers. Making his debut is exciting youngster Mitch Walker from Donnybrook. On the sidelines this year or unavailable are James Webster, Ben Garrett, Wings Evans, and Keith Guelfi.
The Northern Zone will battle car lag as they manage one of the longest road trips for a game of bowls. Some players may choose the drive then fly option with the Rex Airlines flight on Friday for $180 flying Perth to Albany. With Country Week titles aplenty from the likes of Bradley King, Joe Criddle, and Phil Manning, they will prove very hard to beat. An all-round strong side that also includes Kevin Robartson, Wes Benton and in form players Tony O'Brien representing Wonthella and Matthew Whitely from Bindoon. Those unavailable or unlucky this year include Shane Giudice-Nairn, Dan Jolly and Glen Jones.
The Eastern Zone side looks extremely competitive and will look to challenge strongly for the title. With recently crowned State Pairs champions in Hayden Smith and Phil Jones and current Country Week singles champ Justin Smith and former winner Matty France, anything is possible. In support they have the experience of Maurie Crameri and Bill Fraser and young talent in Michael Curry and Greg Vaughan from Narembeen. Congratulations on their selection goes to Geoff Watson and Richard Cowcher from the Boulder Bowling club. Some of the talent unavailable or not making the trip include Aaron Smith, Mark Szczecinski, Silky Wilkins and Gary Walker.
In the words of election analyst Antony Green this is 'too close to call'!
Good Bowling and comradery is extended to all 80 participants. May the best performed Zone win and pending results and selection one can expect a very strong Country All Star representative side this year. The Country All Stars v WA State team game will again be held at Osborne Park Bowling club on Thursday night 28th of February prior to Country Week. The game should provide a good hit out as the WA state side prepare to compete this year in NSW in early April.
M Simpson, M Ayres, F Ditri, S O'Brien
B Ball, D Appleton, W Coyle, R Bates
R Tiller, N Brierly, A Drayton, M Walker
G Keep, W Hyatt, S Pennington, R Mosele
M Pennington, R Deal, B Gearing, G Twist SOUTHERN
J Goddard, J Fiegert, C Russell, J Davey
D Cliff, G Smith, B Duff, B Crisp
J Sharp, K MacGregor, R Dithcburn, J Flavel
M Mitchell, J Davidson, R Plant, R Schinzig
M Boxall, G Hosking, K Heberle, J Cowie EASTERN
H Smith, P Jones, A Walker, G Watson
J Smith, D Thompson, R Griffiths, G Archer
W Fraser, A Ryan, G Vaughan, R Cowcher
G Main, M France, C Shell, W Burton
M Crameri, M Curry, M Lancaster, N Miguel NORTHERN
B King, A Goulden, W Sivyer, P Leeson
J Criddle, K Robartson, J Trotter, M Thompson
A Carlton, M Whitely, G Beck, B Eather
M Fox, W Benton, P Walsh, D Patton
P Manning, T O'Brien, R Humfrey, B Preston
INTER LEAGUE ROUND ROBIN 2019
EASTERN (played at Manning) AVON VALLEY
P Fleay, K Wolfenden, D Kelly, B Parker
C Schell, D Hudson, B Jones, K Carr
J Smith, M Nottle, P Gerdtz, C Archer
H Smith, P Jones, M Siegert, B Walsh CENTRAL WHEATBELT
P Smith, D Miguel, G Nicol, A Majdid
M Lancaster, W Maher, G Whyte, N Miguel
A Smith, B Smith, L Miguel, B Wegner
A Ryan, L Herbert, T O'Connell, S Lange EAST AVON
M Crameri, C Hayes, A Mackin, C Squiers
G Main, B Taylor, T Cosgrove, W Button
W Fraser, R Wheeldon, A Paron, P Bradley
D Thomson, R Griffiths, G Cox, H Dixon GOLDFIELDS SOUTH EASTERN
B Alp, M Szczecnski, S Cooper, V Bolt
M France, D Postans, C Crombie, D Butler
M Currie, J Currie, S Crees, E Tenardi
G Vaughan, S Sloan, A Walker, J Shepherd
SOUTHERN (played at Esperance 11-13th Jan) UPPER GREAT SOUTHERN SOUTH CENTRAL ARUNGA CENTRAL STIRLING SOUTH EAST COASTAL GREAT SOUTHERN
Geoff Hosking, Graeme Jose, Stephen Hughes, Richard Schinzig
Murray Boxall, Ron Lloyd, Mick Cowie, John Flavell
Warren Holt, Geoff Holmes, Chris French, Jarved Cowie
Mark Wunnenberg, Graeme Prowse, Mark Schinzig, Robert Marinoni LOWER GREAT SOUTHERN
J Sharp, D Wright, H Waddell, J Robertson
M Mitchell, A Ashworth, R Plant, P Garbellini
J Davidson, D King, J Meyers, M Pooley
F Holt, K MacGregor, R Nichols, T Wright
NORTHERN BATAVIA RED
B King, G Ellis, M Grigsby, P Leeson
T O'Brien, S Palmer, J Cukela, J Lucas
C O'Brien, S Guidice-Nairn, K Robartson, M Thompson
J Criddle, M Ford, I Cliff, T Reudavey BATAVIA WHITE
B Wright, A Duane, P Johnson, M McKenzie
G Preston, A French, P Reudavey, K Exten
G Haliday, K Trotter, R Roberts, B Preston
I Carlshausen, K Easton, N Exten, N Bunter CENTRAL MIDLANDS CENTRAL WEST COASTAL MOORE DISTRICT NORTH MIDLANDS
SOUTH WESTERN (played at Donnybrook 12-13th January 2019) BLACKWOOD LEEUWIN MURRAY DISTRICT
R Tiller, G Crisp, T Hyatt, J O'Brien
B Ball, D Appleton, B Hett, R Bates
K Guelfi, W Hyatt, S Unsworth, A Grieves
M Simpson, M Ayres, G Farmer, S O'Brien
N Brierley, G Needs, J Solly, K Edwards SOUTH WEST