Dapto's Bonham claims Illawarra rookie singles bowls title

Dapto's John Bonham won his second straight Illawarra rookie singles title, victorious in six matches in two days. Picture: CHRIS CHAN

Dapto's John Bonham won his second straight Illawarra rookie singles title, victorious in six matches in two days. Picture: CHRIS CHAN

LAWN BOWLS

John Bonham will have a second crack at a state crown after winning back-to-back Illawarra rookie singles titles at Dapto Bowling Club.

The tournament is for bowlers with less than 30 months' experience. Bonham won six matches in two days to take the title for a second straight year.

Dapto clubman Bonham beat Fairy Meadow's Blake Gillard 17-15 in last Sunday's final on his home green, after a 17-11 win over Berkeley's Neil Teasdale in the semi-finals.

Bonham will represent Illawarra at the state rookie singles finals at Raymond Terrace BC on November 1-2.

"I don't know how far I can go [in the state finals], but it's good to get back there again," Bonham said.

"Playing last year definitely helped and I managed to play some good bowls and get through each round.

"You need a bit of good fortune to win six games but I did my best."

Last year in the state finals also at Raymond Terrace BC, Bonham was beaten by a shot in the section decider by Kootingal's Graeme Harriott who won the state crown.

The Illawarra tournament featured 49 bowlers representing most Zone 16 clubs, with the 16 sectional winners from Saturday's matches at Dapto and Thirroul bowling clubs qualifying for the knockout round.

Four Corrimal bowlers - Ron Howard, Rick Murphy, Michael Ugarenko and Michael Rombouts - won their section, and three Warilla bowlers, Shane O'Neill, Paul Johnson and Glen Ryan also made it into the knockout round of 16.

The Bowls NSW rookie singles and rookie pairs tournaments have proved a huge success and allow less experienced bowlers to win a state title.

Bowlers who joined a club anywhere in the world after April 2012 can take part this year, with a player permitted to play twice in the rookies' series provided they are not a previous state winner.

NSW rookies events are being played at all 16 zones in NSW over the next few weeks.

Illawarra's rookie pairs event is on September 20 and 21, with the final at Thirroul BC.

Bonham said he would also play in the pairs and partner clubmate Brad Fuller.

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