Runners-up Zone 16 impressive at NSW inter-zone bowls finals

Top effort: The Zone 16 squad produced a great effort to finish runners-up at the NSW Inter-Zone Sides Championship. Picture: James Berriman, Bowls NSW
Top effort: The Zone 16 squad produced a great effort to finish runners-up at the NSW Inter-Zone Sides Championship. Picture: James Berriman, Bowls NSW

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.

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