It's down to serious business in Zone 16 bowls

 Windang's Carlos Hernandez sends down his bowl in the opening round of the Illawarra Singles at Figtree RSL Bowling Club, with the quarter-finals to be held at Warilla BC on Saturday afternoon. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Windang's Carlos Hernandez sends down his bowl in the opening round of the Illawarra Singles at Figtree RSL Bowling Club, with the quarter-finals to be held at Warilla BC on Saturday afternoon. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

BOWLS

The defending champion, a former Jackeroos star and a Bellambi bowler from lower grade pennants headline Saturday's quarter-finals in the prestigious Zone 16 Illawarra singles.

Most of Illawarra's top bowlers and a host of unheralded players were chasing arguably the most prestigious championship of the year and a shot at a state title.

Recently retired Australian player Shane Garvey advanced to the final eight along with defending champion Brett Pieper, who overcame a tough draw including beating Warilla's former Zone 16 singles winner Aaron Teys 31-28 in the second round.

Four rounds last weekend reduced a field of more than 50 to just eight, which includes Bellambi giant-killer Simon McGovern, who will face Pieper for a spot in Sunday morning's semi-final.

After a round-one bye, McGovern beat Dave Reilly 31-24 in round two, then upset Kiama Grade 2 skip Martin Wilson 31-23 in round three and then had a 31-28 win over Matthew Cooper (Figtree RSL) to book a quarter-final spot.

Towradgi Park have three players into the last eight with Geoff Hancox taking on clubmate Dave Wakeling and Paul Luke to meet Wiseman Park's Mick Japunza.

Warilla recruit Jared Hamilton is playing well and takes on Wiseman Park's Garvey in his quarter-final with the winner to face either McGovern or Pieper for a spot in the final.

Last weekend there were a number of excellent performances, some rousing upsets and a host of close games.

Hamilton's 31-29 win over Kiama's Russell Campbell in round three was a standout match, while Hancox played well in an intense clash to knock out Warilla's Aaron Spears 31-23 in round four.

Garvey looks ominous after four wins last weekend including beating clubmate Robin Smith 31-21 to reach the quarter-final stage.

Defending champ Pieper trailed Teys 25-16 but won a number of long ends to claim their round two match.

The quarter-finals are at Warilla BC on Saturday afternoon from 1pm, with the semi-finals and final at Dapto Citizens on Sunday.

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