Albion Park duo Eddie Weston and Peter Sinden overcame a top-class field with a brilliant performance to win Figgy Bowlo's men's over 50s Pairs title.
Weston and Sinden won all three 12-end games with a combined margin of +22 shots to take home the $800 winner's purse in one of the last events completed before all competitive bowls in NSW was called off due to the Coronavirus.
Brett Pieper and Peter Thelan (3wins +8) were the only other three-win combination among the 30 entrants and collected $500, with Helmut Schuster-Jim Kambouris (2.5wins +12) third ($400) and Phil O'Leary-Glen Beckford (2.5wins +8) a close-up fourth ($300).
Peter Ellem and Stuart Ellem (+16) were the best of the Game 1 winners, and with Game 2 winners Alan McDonald-Mal Pearson (+8) collected $100, while Brian McGoldrick and Peter Bennett took home a bonus $200 prize as the top Game 3 winner with a +20 margin.
It was a popular tournament for Figgy Bowlo and played on the day when one of the club's leading bowlers Charles Johnston helped the Illawarra Zone 16 Seniors team win the NSW Senior (over 60s) Inter-Zone crown.
Figgy Bowlo have also made a positive start to the Zone 16 championship season with several bowlers making semi-finals and finals.
Jeremy Ryan and Stuart Tyrrell reached the final of the President's Reserve Pairs last Sunday week, while Jim Kambouris and John Chetcuti also made the semi-finals of the Senior Pairs.
Figgy's Matt Cooper and his father Denis are also in the semi-finals of the Zone 16 Open Pairs and due to face Warilla's Jackaroos star Corey Wedlock and Irish international Gary Kelly.
The Open Pairs championship and all future events remain in limbo due to the Coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Merimbula Splinters won the 2020 Women's Bowls NSW Summer League competition.
The tournament was one of the last Women's Bowls NSW events to be completed before the onset of Covid-19 with 20 finalists qualifying through regional playoffs late last year.
Merimbula's Kirsty Woods, Nicole Barnes and Mandy Miller emerged with the title after beating Belmont Butterflies 11-8 in the grand final at Blacktown.
Illawarra representatives, Ospreys, featuring Lynette Thelan (lead), Leanne Smith (second) and Kim Suckley (skip) could not have come closer to winning their section and qualifying for the semi-finals after being beaten on differential by a single shot (+19 to +18) by Merimbula in their section.
The Illawarra side and the eventual champions both clubs won three of their four sectional games.
Ospreys qualified for the state finals of the Summer League with a final bowl victory against Kerry Robinson's rink in the Illawarra District Playoff.
Pandemic forces closures
Barely a week ago Illawarra's representative bowlers returned from Sydney with a double triumph at the NSW Inter-Zone Championships, while two more Zone 16 teams were crowned Zone champions in finals at Windang and Oak Flats.
Now lawn bowls has ground to a halt due to the Coronavirus pandemic with all club, zone and representative events across NSW called off and bowling clubs forced to shut and only able to operate online or via a takeaway service.
The pandemic has been catastrophic for bowls in the region with an already extremely tight 2020 calendar thrown into disarray.
The backbone of the sport - social bowls and pennants - are on hold indefinitely, while when, or realistically, if club championships can be played in 2020 remains up in the air.
Among events impacted include Warilla postponing this week's $30,000, 5-A-Side tournament which was to feature the Australian Jackaroos squad, while the opening round of the Ultimate Bowls Championship at Deer Park is off, with a decision on round two at Warilla to be made at later date.
The biggest bowls event of 2020, the World Championships in May has been postponed, while the blue-ribbon Australian Open and Australian Indoor have been cancelled.
Smith, Warren holding out hope
Robbie Warren is keeping his fingers crossed he and Robin Smith get the chance to play for a state title in Senior Pairs later this year.
The Wiseman Park clubmates won the Zone 16 Senior Pairs, while Corrimal's Phil Bartlett and James Boyle claimed the President's Reserve Pairs last Sunday week in the final events before all bowls was called off due to the Coronavirus.
The NSW State Championships are scheduled for late August but are under extreme doubt due to COVID-19 which has severely limited clubs across NSW playing their zone titles and having representatives at the state titles.
''It doesn't look good at this stage but hopefully we get to go,'' said Warren, who is playing his first year in the Over 60s Zone Seniors competition. ''It'd be shame for everyone if we didn't have a state championship, but everything's on hold at the moment.''
Smith and Warren won five matches to take the Zone Seniors Pairs and beat Towradgi's Rod Busst and Dave Roberts in the final.