Warilla clubmates Terry Ferris and Gary Taylor stunned a top-class field to claim a deserved victory in the $10,000 Warrigal Wayne Crane Memorial Pairs at Warilla Bowls.
The Warilla duo finished on six wins (+43) to clinch the winner’s purse of $4000 as the only unbeaten team in a capacity field of 42 at the two-day over 50s event.
All teams played six games of 16 ends with Ferris and Taylor showing poise under pressure to win their final three games by just a combined 11 shots.
Alan McDonald and Robbie Warren (5 wins+46) took home $2000 as runners-up, with Peter Thelan and Brett Pieper third (5 wins+44) and collecting $1000.
John Roach-Steve Finnerty (5 wins +36) were fourth; Tim Flynn-Mark Holbil (5 wins +12) fifth, with Peter Read-Andy Hamilton (4.5 wins+38) sixth, and Peter Wilson-John Pendergast seventh on 4.5 wins (+38).
The six game winners were: Terry Boniface-Jim Davies (+19, Game 1); Peter Hughes-Paul Robertson (+21, Game 2); David Wakeling-Ray Parkes (+22, Game 3); Paul Williams-Brian Suckley (+20, Game 4); Ian Tyreman-Ian Braham (+16, Game 5) and S Smith-P Leckey (+24, Game 6).
The tournament is named in honour of Warilla champion Wayne Crane, who played 106 Tests for NSW and won twelve Zone 16 Championships over more than two decades from the mid-1990s.
Crane passed away in December 2016, just a few weeks after he and Warilla clubmates Jamie Mitchell and Jeremy Henry clinched the state Triples title.
The trio were State runners-up in 2014 and 2015.
This year’s Wayne Crane Memorial Pairs champion Terry Ferris has a special regard for Crane having played mid-week pairs with him.
Ferris says Crane was always his own man and generous with his time.
‘’He was such a great bowler but always happy to teach guys and give them tips,’’ Ferris said.
‘’He’s a legend and yet there was no fuss or ego about Wayne. He was a great competitor but a quiet person and it’s great to have this tournament in his memory.’’
Peter Hughes had an association with Wayne Crane that goes back 30 years.
‘’Wayne was a fantastic lead and just loved playing lead,’’ Hughes said.
‘’He was so consistent and must have represented Illawarra hundreds of times. He was a great competitor and a wonderful bowler for a long, long time.’’
Meanwhile, Warilla bowls coordinator Jeremy Henry confirmed the Gorillas have all but sealed the signing of rising star Corey Wedlock from Cabramatta for next season. Already established in the NSW team and still just 22 years old, Wedlock will be a huge addition to Warilla’s Grade 1 side in 2019 and could shift the balance of power between the Gorillas and their main rival Cabramatta.
Henry also confirmed top Irish bowler and former Commonwealth Games medallist, Gary Kelly would be heading to Australia for 12 months and join the club in early January.
It comes as Harley McDonald heads to Engadine and former World No 1 Leif Selby has left for New Zealand.