Sydney South West are building a NSW Inter-Zone Sides Championship dynasty after clinching a third straight title following victory over a spirited Illawarra Zone 16 in Monday’s final at Wagga Wagga.
Zone 12 emulated the feats of their Zone 12 clubmates of 1998-2000 as the only zone to claim three straight NSW Inter-Zone titles in the 25 years of the championships.
Zone 12 won the 2018 final at The Rules Club, Wagga 77-43; with skip Aaron Wilson beating Michael Stead 22-14, Carl Healey defeating Aaron Teys 29-14 and Ray Pearce posting a 26-15 win over Jesse Noronha.
The Sydney club needed some good fortune just to make the semi-finals after losing their opening sectional match 59-51 (9.5-0.5) to Sydney North West (Zone 10).
Zone 12 then beat arch-rival Zone 13, 75-51 and South Western NSW (Zone 8) 85-38, with Zone 8’s surprise 66-49 round two win over Zone 10 opening the door for the reigning champs to win the section.
And while Zone 16 were not able to claim their first Inter-Zone title since 2010 it was their best performance in many years.
Illawarra were unbeaten in nine rink matches of sectional play, posting eight wins and a 16-16 draw from Jesse Noronha’s rink in round one against Greater Western Sydney (Zone 5).
Illawarra beat Zone 5, 62-33, then thrashed neighbours Zone 7, 72-37 and clinched section 2 with a 66-41 win over Hunter (Zone 6).
Illawarra won two of the three rinks in a 66-51 semi-final win over Newcastle with Teys and his partners Harley McDonald, Pete Bonsor and Jamie Mitchell thrashing Richard Girvan’s rink 39-8 in the decisive result.
Teys’ rink – along with skip Michael Stead and his partners John Hills, Shane Pascoe and Chris Green – both finished the championships with four rinks wins and their only loss coming in the final.
Zone 13 will host the Open Inter-Zone Championships in 2019.