It was the most challenging year in the history of the women's Versatility Fours at Warilla, with four teams forced to pull out and others rebounding from the deadly bushfires which has gripped NSW in recent weeks.
Warilla Women's Bowling Club president Judy Hirjee said it was a credit to the 26 participating teams that the annual two-day event went ahead, following the bushfire devastation faced by many clubs and players.
''We had four teams who had to cancel and others who were close to pulling out, but thankfully were able to make it,'' said Hirjee.
''It's been a terrible time for a lot of people who know someone who has lost their home or been directly impacted by the bushfires. It puts bowls in perspective what some people have been through.''
Teams representing Mt Lewis BC, Goulburn Railway, Milton Ulladulla and Huskisson had to withdraw due to impact of the fires.
One bowler from the Milton Ulladulla BC lost their home in a firestorm, leaving the team to pull out. But another member of the team still travelled to Warilla Bowls to watch the tournament after being able to stay with family at Berkeley.
''We've had players from some teams basically forced to evacuate their homes and head up this way and stay a few extra days around here before the tournament began,'' Hirjee said.
''It's been a fabulous event in terms of the bowls and the spirit and generosity from everyone involved has been amazing. But we hope we never again have to hear some of the stories that have come out.''
The tournament's 26 teams with a good mix of local and visiting entries. Warilla were joined by Illawarra clubs Thirroul, Dapto Citizens, Figtree, Windang, Albion Park and Wiseman Park.
Nowra and Bomaderry bowling clubs also featured a team, along with Engadine, Neutral Bay, St Johns Park and Wenty Leagues.
Sponsored by Warilla Bowls, the $3960 tournament was run by Warilla Women's BC.
Jackaroos star Dawn Hayman's St Johns Park team (4wins+43) were the only side to win all four games and deservedly took home the $1200 winner's purse.
L Skeers (Wenty Leagues) was a close-up second (3.5wins+44) with R Humphries (composite) third (3.5wins+17). D Davis and partners (composite) were fourth (3wins+23) with J Palmer (Neutral Bay) fifth (3wins+22).
The format was two games per day over 18 ends. Playing positions were rotated after each game with every player having one game as a lead, a second, a third and as skip.
Meanwhile, Warilla Bowls are hosting a $500 Open/Mixed Pairs event on Saturday January 25.
The day features one 18-end game and a pairing can be either two men, two women or mixed.
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