2016 Men’s Region Sides Championship
Defending champions Northern Gateway had to withstand a stunning late charge from Eastern Ranges before claiming the 2016 Bowls Victoria Men’s Region Sides title and securing back-to-back championships.
Northern Gateway ran out 49-47 winners, in a match which went down to the last end before the Gaters could pick up their third Men’s Region Sides title in the past four years.
Northern Gateway appeared to have broken open an arm-wrestle mid-match at Corowa Civic BC, pinching a 12-shot lead with 11 ends left.
But Eastern Ranges came storming back to level it up at 44-all by the 49th of 54 ends. From there, it was up to Anthony Flapper’s Northern Gateway rink of Flapper, Jordan Yates, Justin Short and Cameron Wilson to ensure they kept Northern Gateway’s nose in front through a nerve-wracking last three ends after others had completed their matches.
That they did, with team manager Ken Lee paying tribute to the camaraderie built within his team as perhaps allowing them to get the job done late in the match.
Earlier on day two, Northern Gateway were dominant 68-19 semi-final winners over Peninsula Casey to make the final.
Eastern Ranges beat Ovens and Murray 49-32 in the other semi-final to book their place in the afternoon decider.
On day one, Northern Gateway won all three of their Section C matches, starting the event with a 31-shot win over Murray Mallee, then a 47-42 victory over Metro West.
They then overcame fellow two-game winners Central Victoria in their final match by 30 shots to book a semi-final berth against Peninsula Casey on day two.
Peninsula Casey fought their way into the semis topping Section D, beating Gippsland to climb to the top as previously unbeaten Sandbelt dropped their final match to Central Goulburn Murray.
Ovens and Murray and Eastern Ranges both topped their respective sections with three wins from three matches.
Ovens and Murray won three hotly-contested Section B matches, each by two shots.
Featuring Australian representative Barrie Lester, Eastern Ranges started the opening day with a 46-41 win over Strzelecki. Then they gathered speed – with big wins over Wimmera by 37 shots and Geelong by 31 – to comfortably secure top spot in Section A.
After an even start to the semi-final, Eastern Ranges took control mid-match, and maintained their lead for a 17-shot semi-final triumph.
A highlight of day one of the championship was the awarding of Life Membership of Bowls Victoria to Cobram BC’s Ken Shields for his 35-plus years service to the sport.
Mr Shields has served at all administrative levels of the sport in a distinguished career at both Keysborough and Cobram clubs, and at Region and Division level.
He is currently Chairman of the Bowls Victoria Event Support Committee, which helps organise and smoothly run our events around the State.
Mr Shields was presented the award by Bowls Victoria President John Fisher OAM and Chief Executive Graeme Bridge.
Winners – Northern Gateway
Scott Byles, Nathan Lynch, Chris Le Lievre, Nick McIntyre (s)
Matt O’Brien, Ben Hubber, Jay-Bye Norris, Peter Loe (s)
Jordan Yates, Justin Short, Cameron Wilson, Anthony Flapper (s)
Runners-up – Eastern Ranges
Mark O’Halloran, Norm Whitehead, Troy Stafford, Barrie Lester (s)
Rob Waghorn, Fintan McLoughlin, Rick Henley, Barry Ward (s)
Daryl White, Stephen Milsted, Darren Mays, Ben Thomason (s)
Results and ladder, round 3
Results and ladder, round 2
Results and ladder, round 1
Event and competition information