Warilla bowlers chasing Zone 16 title

Dapto Citizens' Scott Bateup reached the Zone 16 Triples final last Sunday and will play in the Open Pairs Championship, which begins this weekend. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Dapto Citizens' Scott Bateup reached the Zone 16 Triples final last Sunday and will play in the Open Pairs Championship, which begins this weekend. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Powerhouse club Warilla have been virtually unbeatable in championship events this season as Illawarra's best bowlers chase the next Zone 16 title with three pairs events beginning on Saturday.

Last Sunday Warilla's Jeremy Henry and Jamie Mitchell added the Illawarra triples title to the fours crown they won in February by combining with Wayne Crane to beat Scott Bateup's Dapto Citizens side 30-20 in the triples final.

Henry was cruising with a 23-10 lead before Bateup and partners Peter McCauley and Trevor Gillis picked up 10 shots in three ends.

Dapto Citizens was in charge of the next two ends but Henry saved the day with a drive before Warilla won the final three ends to take the title.

Henry said it was the first time he had won two Zone 16 titles in one season since joining the Gorillas in 2009.

"I haven't played that many zone championships over the years, but being our 50th year I wanted to do well and enter as many events as I could," Henry said.

"It's been a great anniversary year for us, with not only the triples and fours getting up but Geoff McGillivray winning the Senior Singles and Jamie [Nabbe] taking out the President Reserve Singles."

Warilla also won the prized Illawarra Grade 1 pennant flag in 2014 plus the Reg Evans Shield. Young gun Aaron Teys started the year off on a winning note for Warilla by taking out the singles and pairs in a player-of-the-carnival performance at the annual South Pacific tournament.

The stunning win by Figtree RSL's Brett Pieper in the Illawarra Singles last month prevented Warilla from a clean sweep of Zone 16 titles so far in 2014. But all clubs will want to have a representative at the State Championship Finals in October.

This weekend three more Zone 16 titles are up for grabs with the opening rounds of the Open Pairs, Senior Pairs and President Reserve Pairs.

Jeremy Henry is chasing a third zone title and partners Wayne Crane in the Open Pairs.

The Warilla combination have been handed a tough opening-round match against Dapto Citizens' Grade 1 pennant stars John Hills and partner Zoran Bosev.

Among the other leading Open Pairs combinations are defending champion Shane Garvey, playing with Wiseman Park teenage star Dylan Skinner; David Wakeling and Mal Lyons (Towradgi Park); and Albion Park's Ian Barrett and Dean Aitken.

All finals are on Sunday, July 27, with the Open Pairs at Windang BC, the President Reserve at Albion Park BC and Senior Pairs at Dapto BC.

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