Six clubs have a representative in this Sunday's Zone 16 Singles quarter-finals in one of the most open championships in years.
With Warilla internationals Gary Kelly, Aaron Teys and Corey Wedlock not entering the Zone Open Singles due to commitments with the Brisbane Premier League there's no clear favourite among the eight remaining title contenders.
Albion Park have two representatives in Brett Pieper and Chris McLay who would meet in Sunday afternoon's semi-finals if they can get past a tough quarter-final match-up.
Pieper won back-to-back Zone 16 Singles in 2013 and 2014 and beat in-form Warilla bowler Roger Duggan 31-23 to make the last eight this year, meets Warilla's newest recruit Lee Stinson at Towradgi BC on Sunday morning.
Stinson is based at Orange and makes the four-hour plus trip to the South Coast on a Friday night to play for the Gorillas in pennants and championships this season.
''I'm loving the competition here; it's a very high standard,'' said Stinson, who is sharing a cabin at Warilla Bowls with Irish star Gary Kelly on weekends and will also make his Zone 16 rep debut in a trial later this month.
Stinson only had his first look at the Towradgi greens last Sunday but played well to beat Corrimal's Tim Cavanough 31-12 and seal a clash against the dual Singles champion Pieper.
In the other quarter-finals, in-form Fairy Meadow recruit Thomas Webb knocked out clubmate Daniel Nanasi 31-28 in a thriller in round three and takes on Towradgi's Adam Martin for a semi-final spot.
Windang's Dave Tyrrell is having an excellent championship season after already qualifying for the Zone Pairs semi-finals, and also takes on Corrimal's Kevin Ireland in the Singles quarter-finals.
Tyrrell beat Warilla's Eric Haynes 31-20 in round three while Ireland produced one of the shocks of the championships in knocking out Towradgi recruit Shane Pascoe 31-17.
The winner of Ireland versus Tyrrell takes on either Webb or Martin, with all four bowlers to fancy their chances of reaching the Singles final.
In the other quarter-final, Dapto Citizens' Paul Luke is in great touch after knocking out Brendan Aquilina in his section and then beating top Figtree Sports youngster Jayden Gebbie 31-28 in round three.
Luke takes on Albion Park's Chris McLay who beat Berkeley's Damien Harrison to book a last eight spot.
Meanwhile, the finalists in the Senior Singles and semi-finalists in Reserve Singles will be decided by Sunday afternoon.
In the Senior Singles quarter-finals at Figtree Sports, defending champion Brian Suckley (Warilla) takes on Towradgi's Robbie Warren in a rematch of last year's final.
The winner will meet either Mick Weir (Kiama) or Geoff McGillivray (Warilla) in the semi-finals, while in the other last eight match-ups, John Bennett (Figtree) takes on Brian Harriott (Towradgi) and Ray Parkes (Corrimal) meets Figtree Sports' John Jovcevski.
In the Grade 5-7 Reserve Singles, Windang and Dapto Citizens have three representatives each in the round of 16 at Windang BC on Sunday morning.
Dapto Citizens clubmates Barry Yates and Troy Gumm will meet, with nine clubs having a representative in the last 16.
Meanwhile, Warilla's Corey Wedlock and Aaron Teys will be among the favourites at next week's 2020 State Champion of Club Champion Pairs at Ettalong BC.
The Zone 16 champs take on the winning Pairs teams from the other 15 zones in 2020 with the event cancelled last year due to COVID.
Warilla, Windang on target
Reigning State Women's Senior Fours champions Warilla and Illawarra District Open Fours winners Windang qualified for the 2021 NSW Championships with victories in their Regional Playoff at Albion Park BC.
Both teams beat Southern Highlands champions Bowral last Thursday with Warilla victorious 22-8 and Windang rallying to win 19-13.
The Warilla Senior Fours rink of Vicki Turner, Maureen Murphy, Shirley Lindsay and her sister Leone Barnett have won the past three Illawarra District Over 60s Fours titles and last month took out the rescheduled 2020 NSW Championship at Club Malua.
The Warilla ladies beat the champion teams from across NSW and triumphed with an extra end win over Wenty Leagues in the semi-finals and 15-14 win over Bomaderry in the final.
Windang trailed 13-7 after 13 ends of their 21-end decider, before going on a 12-0 run over six ends to secure a determined win.
The Windang rink had one change from the team which won the District Open Fours, with Nicole Grogan a sub for Janelle Jordan and partnering Moira Dorans, Kim Hart and skip Wendy Stevens against Bowral.
Windang and Warilla have now sealed their place at the 2021 Women's Bowls NSW State Championships in August.
Wait is over for pennant action
Eighty-six teams from 21 clubs will compete in seven grades in the anticipated return of Zone 16 pennants on Saturday.
With the 2020 pennants season a virtual write-off due to COVID-19 it is approaching two years since hundreds of bowlers in the region came together for their main domestic competition.
Grade 1 will feature eight teams and 10 rounds with Towradgi, Warilla, Figtree Sports and Woonona in Section 1 and Albion Park, Corrimal, Dapto Citizens and Kiama in Section 2.
The section winner qualifies for the State Finals in July plus meet to decide the Grade 1 Pennant Flag, while the section runners-up face off for the third State Finals spot open to Southern Conference.
In Zone 16 pennants, Grade 6 will feature two sections of 10 teams, while Grade 7 has three sections of six teams.
Grade 2 should be very competitive with eight teams split into two sections, while 10 teams have nominated in Grade 3, plus 11 teams for both Grade 4 and Grade 5.