Bulli bowlers finish in style at Challenge

Bulli Bowling Club is only days away from closing but celebrated winning the NSW Club Challenge men's silver title at Warilla Bowling Club.

Bulli beat Ashfield BC in Saturday's semi-final and then Kew Bowling Club in Sunday's final to claim a trophy for the club that will close as a bowling club on December 31.

The NSW Club Challenge is a club-based title in which teams of seven meet in singles, pairs and fours.

Played on the indoor rinks at Warilla BC, Bulli's Warren Hamilton had a 31-20 win over Kew's Chris Balaam in singles, while Rodney Jackson, James Tully, Neil Newson and skip Jared Hamilton had a 14-10 win in the fours.

Bulli's Bernie Harding and John Ritchie had two bad ends in the pairs and were edged out 15-14 but, having won the other rinks, Bulli deservedly took the title.

"It's a fantastic result," Harding said.

"You couldn't write a script like it. The other clubs at the challenge who'd heard about our fate were really supportive and congratulated us."

Harding said 55 male bowlers and 30 women were keen to move to Woonona Bowling Club in a bid to keep the playing group together.

Jared Hamilton has joined Grade 1 champions Warilla but Harding said most of Bulli's Grade 2 side that won the Illawarra pennant in 2013 were keen to join Woonona BC in a bid to play pennants together in 2014.

Towradgi Park also celebrated a winning end to the year by claiming the NSW Club Challenge mixed bronze division title.

Towradgi Park also reached the semi-finals of the women's pink division, while Dapto Citizens were beaten by the strong Taren Point in the semi-finals of the blue ribbon men's gold division.

Taren Point proved too strong for Kempsey Heights in the final.

Warilla were beaten in the semi-finals in the men's blue competition, while Warilla also bowed out in the semis of the women's gold division.

Terrigal beat Telarah in the final of women's gold.

Meanwhile, it has been another huge year in Illawarra bowls and Loose Ends thanks everyone who has contributed to the column.

Special thanks to Brian and Angela Gibson from Illawarra Zone 16 for answering my endless calls, plus thanks to Barbara Roser for promoting women's bowls.

The column is also indebted to Andrew Lynn from Bowls NSW for his support.

Many Illawarra clubs have found the time to contribute items, with hopefully more to come on board in 2014.

Loose Ends will return in February, but the Mercury will provide daily coverage of the South Pacific Carnival, which begins on Friday, December 27.

Merry Christmas to everyone, and don't roll too many in the ditch.

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