Magnificent Windang erase pennants heartbreak

Peter Thompson was outstanding in Windang's victory over Kiama in the Grade 2 pennants grand final. Windang have earned promotion to Grade 1 next season. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Peter Thompson was outstanding in Windang's victory over Kiama in the Grade 2 pennants grand final. Windang have earned promotion to Grade 1 next season. Picture: ROBERT PEET

LAWN BOWLS

Four Grade 2 grand final disappointments in six years only made Sunday's emphatic triumph even sweeter for newly crowned champions Windang.

Windang clinched promotion to Grade 1 in 2015 with a three rinks to nil, 79-42 victory over Kiama in the grand final at Warilla.

Windang also won the Grade 6 pennant and were the only Illawarra club to win two pennants, with Warilla (Grade 1), Figtree RSL (Grade 3), Wiseman Park (Grade 4), Helensburgh-Scarborough Wombarra (Grade 5) Wombarra and Berkeley (Grade 7) also winning a Zone 16 flag.

Windang lost the 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013 Grade 2 grand finals but saved their best match for last Sunday's biggest day of the season.

"It was a huge win for the club, especially for those who have been there through the four losses and two other semi-finals," Windang bowls co-ordinator Geoff Walker said.

Former state senior singles champion Rick Malley, 2014 club Major Singles champion Mark Larsen, along with Peter Thompson, Reg Woods and Mark Waters, have all been part of the six years of play-off disappointments.

But all three Windang rinks were outstanding in the grand final victory over Grade 2 minor premiers Kiama.

Craig Roberts skipped his rink to a 32-10 win, with Mark Larsen winning 25-16 and Rick Malley completing the sweep with a 22-16 rink victory.

Walker says the club should have even more depth through the seven grades in 2015, with Windang to pick up around 20 bowlers from Shellharbour BC, which will close at the end of 2014.

And Walker says his Grade 2 team have their sights set on doing well in the State Finals at Port Macquarie in August.

Bulli beat Windang in the 2013 Illawarra Grade 2 grand final and went on to make the state final, narrowly missing out on a state flag.

"I think we'll give it a shot," Walker said.

"We're a strong team, capable in all the rinks and have been together for a number of years with good combinations.

"You never can tell what the state finals will bring but with our experience, if we can get through our section who knows what can happen from there."

Warilla will represent Illawarra Zone 16 in the blue-ribbon Grade 1 finals at Belrose BC and will be motivated by their semi-final exit to champions Taren Point last year.

Warilla led the semi at the halfway mark before a remarkable collapse across all rinks.

But with a star-studded side - spearheaded by top skips Aaron Teys, Leif Selby and Jeremy Henry - the Gorillas will be one side no rival will want to face at the State Finals.

With the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July, the State Finals have been put back a week to August 9-11.

Joining Belrose (Grade 1 ) and Port Macquarie City (Grade 2) as hosting clubs this year are Greenacre and Mt Lewis (Grade 3), Ettalong Memorial (Grade 4), West Tamworth and South Tamworth (Grade 5), Ballina and Ballina RSL (Grade 6), and Engadine and Sylvania in Grade 7.

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