Pieper rewrites history with back-to-back wins

Warilla's Jamie Nabbe on his way to winning the Zone 16 President Reserve Singles at Dapto Citizens Bowling Club. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Warilla's Jamie Nabbe on his way to winning the Zone 16 President Reserve Singles at Dapto Citizens Bowling Club. Picture: ROBERT PEET

LAWN BOWLS

Brett  Pieper became the first player in almost three decades to win back-to-back Illawarra singles titles.

On Sunday's at Dapto Citizens Bowling Club, the Figtree RSL star joined only Fred Lewis, who won five Illawarra singles titles for Austinmer from 1959-69, and three-time winner Alan Horsfall as back-to-back victors in 60 years of the championships.

Lewis dominated Illawarrra bowls for a decade from the late 1950s, while Horsfall won his singles titles in 1976 and 1977 for Illawarra Leagues and again in 1982 representing Dapto City.

Horsfall went on to win the state singles in 1976, with only Phil Bushby in the 1970-71 season and Tom Ellem in 2001 able to convert their Illawarra title into a state crown.

Pieper became the first player since Horsall in 1976 and '77 to win consecutive Illawarra singles titles after winning seven matches over two weekends.

Pieper beat Towradgi Park's David Wakeling 31-11 in the final after a 31-26 win over Shane Garvey in a semi-final.

"To win a second title is pretty special," Pieper said.

"I didn't have an easy draw but hung in there and played well when I really needed too."

Pieper was desperately disappointed to lose his state singles quarter-final 31-30 to West Dubbo's Josh Andriske last October and now gets a second crack at a NSW title.

Despite his triumph in Illawarra's blue-ribbon event, Pieper missed a spot in the Illawarra representative team, being overlooked for the Inter-Zone series in Newcastle.

Meanwhile, Warilla have two more representatives at the state titles after Geoff McGillivray won the Senior Singles and Jamie Nabbe claimed his second President Reserve Singles in four years.

Nabbe confirmed he is Illawarra's best Grade 5-7 pennant singles player with a 31-24 win over Wiseman Park's Scott Davidson in the final.

Nabbe, McGillivray and Pieper join Warilla's Zone 16 championship-winning fours team of Jamie Mitchell, Matt McIntyre, Aaron Teys and Jeremy Henry (skip) at the week-long state finals from October 18-25.

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