The Illawarra District Grade 1 and Grade 3 Pennant champions have clinched their place at the Women's State Pennant Finals with the champions from Grade 2 and Grade 4 looking to book their state spot by winning the Regional Playoff on Thursday.
Wiseman Park won the top-grade Pennants this season, with Oak Flats champions in Grade 3 and both will be contenders for the prized state flag in September.
Illawarra District Grade 2 winners Woonona and Grade 4 champs Figtree RSL Red take on either Bowral or Picton on Thursday at Bowral for a spot in the NSW Pennant Finals.
The Illawarra District playoffs were held for Grades 3 and 4 at Warilla Bowls recently, with both grades having two sections and the section winners facing off for the Illawarra flag.
Oak Flats rallied in the late ends to defeat Corrimal in a tight final in Grade 3, while in Grade 4 it was a battle between two Figtree RSL teams - Red and Blue - in a competition which featured 11 teams.
With Figtree Blue going through the season undefeated and the Red side pushed hard by Dapto Citizens in Section 1, the final was a tight and tense affair with the Red side prevailing.
Besides determining the Illawarra District flag winners in grades 3 and 4, the playoffs at Warilla also featured friendly matches in Grade 1 and 2.
District president Heather Skinner presented the flag to the champions in all four grades, plus gave out badges to all winning teams.
With no Pennant competition in 2020 due to COVID, the 2021 season featured 30 teams and delivered excellent bowls in all four grades.
Wiseman Park claimed the Grade 1 flag on the final day of the season after leapfrogging Warilla, who were upset by Kiama in the final round.
Warilla and Wiseman Park, the two strongest top-grade clubs, have won every District Grade 1 title since 2006 except in 2017 when Dapto Citizens won the flag.
Woonona's triumph in Grade 2 this year is their first District Pennant flag since winning Grade 2 in 2003, while Oak Flats have backed up their Grade 3 victory from 2019.
Figtree RSL's success in Grade 4 is their first Pennant flag in more than a decade.
The District Triples begin next Tuesday, with Wiseman Park champions Carol Owen and Julea Morgan to be partnered by Christine Speer, who replaces Mary Thomas from last year.
The District Triples has attracted 44 teams with a spot at the NSW State Championships in August up for grabs.
Following the Illawarra Triples, the prestigious District Singles will be held from June 1-3.
The resumption of the unfinished District Senior Pairs is scheduled from June 8.
A huge contingent of Illawarra bowlers will also be travelling to the Mid-North Coast for the annual State Carnival hosted by Tuncurry Beach Bowling Club from May 17-21.
Gorillas beating their chests
Warilla sealed their place at another State Pennant Finals in Grade 1 with two rounds to spare following emphatic victories over arch-rivals Dapto Citizens and Towradgi last weekend.
With five internationals in their squad, Warilla are equipped to win the State Grade 1 flag and took the first step with victory in Section 2 of Southern Conference.
The Gorillas beat Dapto Citz 71-47 (9-1) last Friday night with Aaron Teys and Gary Kelly skipping their rinks to convincing wins, while Jarrod Beckford picked up a crucial point for Citos with a last-end win against Corey Wedlock.
The following day the huge rivalry between Towradgi Park and Warilla proved a massive fizzer with the Gorillas in beast mode, winning 75-39 (10-0).
Wedlock and Kelly won their rinks easily, while Teys had a tough 17-15 win over Shane Pascoe, who this week booked a spot in the main draw for the Australian Indoor Singles at Tweed Heads.
Towradgi will almost certainly finish second in Section 2 and take on the runner-up in Section 1 for a place at the State Finals; with Southern Conference having three spots at the Finals.
In Section 1, Albion Park suffered back-to-back losses to Corrimal and Kiama, allowing Dapto Citizens to take top spot and Corrimal second with two rounds remaining.
Hayman scorches for the Suns
Jackaroos star Dawn Hayman should be an in-demand player for the next Bowls Premier League after a stunning debut for Perth Suns in BPL13 at Club Pine Rivers in Brisbane.
Hayman was a late call-up to the Perth franchise after Kristina Krstic and Cody Packer were unable to leave Perth due to a COVID scare and she responded by being among the best players with the Suns narrowly missing the playoffs.
Hayman was coming off a victory in the Women's Australian Champion of Champion Singles and joined newly-crowned Australian Men's Champion of Champion Singles winner Trystan Smallacombe, plus BPL12 MVP runner-up Ray Pearse for Perth.
Tweed Heads Ospreys made it back-to-back victories in the tournament with Aaron Teys the MVP, partnered by his Warilla and Jackaroos clubmate Corey Wedlock plus Chloe Stewart.
A proud Fairy Meadow BC junior, Hayman will now be awaiting her next opportunity with BPL14 scheduled for November.