Underdogs rise to occasion
By STEVE ARCHBOLD
AS far as a contest goes, the final of the major pairs bowls at Coffs Ex-Services shaped as a classic David versus Goliath battle.
In red corner was grade seven pennants skip Keith Landow partnering John Cornale.
In the blue corner Alan Carver, runner-up in the State singles last year, a grade one pennant player and the winner of numerous club and district titles partnered Glen Cunningham.
Bowls though, as many who play the game will know, is a great leveller and anything can happen on a given day.
For Landow, the triumph represented his first major pairs title in 19 attempts, losses in the semi-finals in 1988 and 1989, his best previous results.
Ironically, Landow's original partner Alan Sawyer was unavailable this year due to a trip to New Zealand so his combination with John Cornale proved a winner in their first outing.
Landow said building a 13-5 lead gave the side confidence early but in typical fashion, Carver and Cunningham drew on all their determination to narrow the gap to 14-13 on 16 ends.
Trailling 16-14 after 17 ends, Landow was in a spot of bother with Carver holding four shots on the 18th end, a pivotal point in the final.
Landow was able to pick up the jack and give his side four shots for an 18-16 lead before he edged away for a 23-16 victory.
"That was definitely the turning point, we never gave up hope of winning the title," he said.
"Everyone watching was pretty excited as they knew we were the underdogs," Landow said.
Landow and Cornale nearly didn't make it through to the pairs decider.
In the semi-finals they were four down on the last end before Landow produced a classic last bowl to gain the extra shot which forced an extra end against Chris Woods before they eventually won through to the final.
The rest is history.