Promising Figgy Bowlo member Gary Webster won five matches over two days to clinch the Zone 16 Rookies Singles title for 2018.
Twenty six players with less than 30 months experience were chasing their first zone title and thev chance to represent Illawarra at the State Rookies Singles Finals at Raymond Terrace BC next month.
Webster beat neighbouring Collies-Orb representative Greg Wray 17-14 in a very competitive final at Windang BC last Sunday.
Webster began his run to the final with a 17-10 win over Oak Flats Greg Bruce and then posted a 17-13 win over Bomaderry’s Bruce MacDonald to claim section 1 at Woonona BC.
Webster then beat section 2 winner Geoff Honeycombe (Windang) 17-1 in their quarter final before advancing to the final with a 17-12 win over Vallance Brown (Oak Flats).
Webster clinched the title with a hard-fought victory over former top Illawarra cricketer Greg Wray.
The Orb bowler won three matches in his section before edging out Wiseman Park’s Matthew Constable 17-16 in the quarter-finals.
Wray continued to play well and sealed a spot in the final with a 17-7 win over Brad Adams.
The Woonona-based Adams won the tightest of the eight sections on a countback; after having the best shot differential (+3) after he and section rivals Terry McKay and Wolfgang Coen each won one game and lost one game in their pool.
The Zone 16 Rookies Singles featured bowlers from 11 Illawarra clubs with Webster to now take his place alongside the other 15 zone winners at the State Finals early next month.
No Zone 16 player has made the final at the State Rookies Singles, though in recent years our representative has been knocked out by the eventual champion in the sectional phase.
Meanwhile, a strong field of talented bowlers will line up for the zone Rookies Pairs at Bomaderry BC on Saturday.
Corrimal’s Aydan Murphy and Tim Cavanough won the Zone 16 Rookies Pairs in 2017 and made the final of the state event.
It was the first time that the Zone 16 Rookies Pairs champion had made the state final since the Berkeley-Warilla combination of Neal Teasdale and Andrew Ransom won the state title in 2014.
Wests League’s (Sydney) John Boumelhem won the NSW Rookies Singles in 2017, with Kurri Kurri’s Greg Musgrove and Pete Sumner taking the State Rookies Pairs crown.
The State Rookies champions are not eligible to defend their title, but a player can compete in the event for up to two years if they remain within the 30 months of becoming a registered bowler.