Zone 16 will break new ground in its championship season with the inaugural Senior Triples and President's Reserve Triples to commence this weekend at Warilla BC.
In total, 28 eams from 13 Zone 16 clubs are chasing the over 60s Triples crown, while 26 teams nominated in President's Reserve for bowlers in pennant grades five to seven.
Both inaugural champions will play against the winners from the other 15 NSW zones for a state title in late September at Ettalong Memorial BC.
The Open Triples championship has been put back until July 20 to allow Warilla star Aaron Teys to make his individual international debut for Australia at the upcoming Asia Pacific Championships. Teys will also face Aron Sherriff in Thursday's semi-final of the Australian Open Singles.
Meanwhile, as a new event there is no obvious favourite and a host of contenders ahead of the opening rounds of the Senior Triples at Warilla on Sunday.
Figgy Bowlo's Mark Sunderland and Harry Johnston won the Zone Senior Pairs in February and are partnered by Zone 16 representative skip Bob Wilson in a strong team. The Figgy combination take on Shoalhaven Heads' George Bevan, Rob Percival and Steve McMahon in round one on Sunday morning.
There are plenty of rival teams with their sights on a good run in the tournament.
Albion Park's Roger Kelly, Rod Raftery and Peter Thelan (skip) loom as a serious contender but first have to get past Corrimal's Barry Cavanough, Trev Sheens and Ken Hunt (skip), with Hunt and Cavanough chasing their second zone Seniors title for 2019 after winning the Fours in late February.
On an adjacent rink, the Towradgi combination of Peter Morgan, Brian Purdie and Rod Busst take on the strong Kiama side of Murray Sheather, Mick Weir and Terry Boniface in round one.
Host club Warilla will be involved in a tough first round match-up with Paul Collins, Dallas Delatorre and state champion Geoff McGillivary (skip) facing the talented Figgy side of Mark Kesby, Tommy Dunn and Ray Smiles (skip). Round two is on Sunday afternoon.
The semi-finals and final of the Senior and Reserve Triples is Sunday June 23 at Warilla. Most players nominated for the President's Reserve Triples are chasing their first Zone crown.
But Scott Kicks, Chris Cusack and Aldo Dimartino won the Pres Reserve Fours earlier this year with their partner Donald McLeod, and now Kicks, Cusack and Dimartino are playing together in the Triples.
The Warilla rink take on Albion Park's Gary Crittendon, Bob Dodds and Stuart Greenshield (skip) in round one on Saturday.
With the pennant season over for most bowlers the opportunity to claim a zone title is now the priority, with the Zone 16 Singles to follow in July.
Kiama chasing state flag
The Kiama Grade 2 women's pennant team are looking to cap off a memorable season by winning the state flag in the club's centenary year.
The ladies clinched the Illawarra District Grade 2 flag and then defeated Bowral in the Region 7 Playoff to qualify for the prestigious State Finals at Pottsville BC.
The IDWBA Grade 2 Pennant triumph was Kiama's first District Grade 2 flag since 2006.
It is 20 years since Kiama Women's BC last played at the State Finals when they finished state runners-up and their Grade 2 District success this season is particularly timely with Kiama BC celebrating its 100th year of bowls.
''To bring home a state flag in August would really be the icing on the cake,'' Kiama women's chair of selectors Bronwyn Campbell said.
And while the Grade 2 side enjoyed the biggest success at IDWBA level, the club's other pennant team also had a great season as runners-up in Grade 4. The team won their section and were narrowly beaten by Fairy Meadow in the Grade 4 final.
The Grade 1-4 state finals are in the Tweed-Byron District, with the grand finals at Kingscliff.
The Kiama Grade 2 squad is: Stella Heidtmann, Bronwyn Campbell, Jenny Kervin, Gloria Hodgson, Mel Walker, Shirley Read, Joan Brownlie, Gaye Reynolds, Jackie Kirk.
Corrimal event a fresh format
Corrimal Bowling Club will introduce a new event featuring three age groups in the one side, with its Three-Bowl Age Restricted Triples next Monday.
The tournament is open to a team of one bowler aged under 50, another aged in their 50s and the third player over 60 years old.
''While there are plenty of over 50s events we think this is something new,'' Corrimal secretary-manager Pete Bonsor said.
The club is still taking entries with the event to feature four games of eight ends.
Entry cost is $90 per team with the tournament open to men and women and suited to families and mates of different ages.
Corrimal's biggest event of the year the Men's Gold Medal Triples is on September 14-15 with a bumper field of Zone 16 stars expected.
The club had a good season in pennants with their Grade 1 side in playoff contention until the final few rounds, and Grade 7 side runner-up for the Zone 16 flag.
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