THEY aimed to be a ‘pain in the bum’, but they emerged as champions.
The underdog Orange City Bowling Club team of Ian Webb, Mick Stevens, Wayne Carr and skip Ian Carr were crowned the 2018 winners of the prestigious Carillon City Fours lawn bowls tournament on Sunday.
Now in its 37th year, the tournament staged by the Bathurst City Men’s Bowling Club offers a $10,000 purse and draws some of Australia’s best bowlers to its greens.
Ian Carr’s team, which was thrown together at the last minute, had simply been looking to gain experience, but after the completion of the five, 15-end games it had the best record of the 52 hopefuls.
“It was quite good, but very unexpected. That probably made it a little bit better to be honest, the pressure wasn’t on us like it was some of the other teams,” skip Carr said.
“There was three of us who’d had a few goes at it before, but this was a thrown together side, one of us – Ian Webb – it was his first major tournament. He was our lead and he went quite well, we all went quite well as a team.
“We went down there to be a pain in the bum and to improve our bowls, we would have been happy just to finish with two or three wins.
“When you are playing against the better bowlers it improves your game, I think you concentrate a little bit more when you play them. It’s certainly a different game to what you get in social bowls.”
As has been the trend in recent years, the competition was stiff on Saturday as teams contested the opening three games.
The contenders had narrowed to four heading in the final game on Sunday afternoon – the Orange City combination, a Wollongong team, a team skipped by New Zealand representative Richard Girvan and the outfit of two-time Carillon City Fours victor Phil Westcott.
Two of them had better margins that Carr’s team, but neither were able to clinch a win in game five.
That left Carr’s team and Jordan Taylor’s Wollongong side as one of just two outfits to boast a perfect record.
It meant it came down to winning margins to determine who would lift the trophy and it was Carr’s men who got the nod by four shots.
Westcott’s team placed third and Girvan’s fourth, while the best placed of the Bathurst hopefuls was a composite outfit skipped by Bobby Bourke. They ranked ninth.
“That would be the biggest tournament we’ve all won yes, it will probably be the only one we win,” Carr laughed.
“We didn’t have any stars in our team, every had their good shots and everyone had their bad shots.
“We had two games which were very touch and go, one of them was against Phil Gray’s side … in the last end we got six and four and that turned it around.
“There really wasn’t much in it, but luckily for us it worked out good.”
Bathurst City Men’s Bowling Club president Ross James was delighted with the quality of bowling seen over the two days and paid tribute to the winners.
“It shows that the draw is important, they got a good draw and they played well and upset some of those other teams, it happens that way sometimes,” he said. “It was a good effort because we had National Premier League standard bowlers here.”
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