Vital final pennants round
By CORY DALEY
TWO more district flags were decided in the Mid North Coast district lawn bowls competition on Saturday leaving the remaining four to be determined in the final round this weekend.
Coffs Ex-Services won a tense clash with Park Beach 6-0 to win the number two grade by just two and a half points.
With Sawtell holding the advantage for the best part of the season, this result was a well-earned one for the Coffs boyswho started the season as red hot favourites.
Sawtell gained some revenge when they secured the grade three flag in the penultimate round with a 6-0 win over Coffs as their nearest rivals were beaten in their game.
Urunga were in a strong position over the final rounds but as predicted the match against Woolgoolga proved to be their undoing.
Macksville continued their downslide in grade four with another loss.
West Coffs only needed a victory to sew up the flag only to be beaten 4-2 by Nambucca Heads leaving three sides with a chance to take the title in the final round.
West Coffs are still in the box seat with both Macksville and Nambucca breathing down their neck and it would take a brave person to predict what might happen until the final bowl is played.
Bowraville conceded ground to their rivals in grade five and with a two point lead it sets up an exciting finish in the final round.
Both Woolgoolga and Scotts Head scored maximum points in Saturday matches to apply the blowtorch to the frontrunner.
A 5-1 win over Urunga was enough to keep the Bowraville boys in front but they are certain to face a test of nerves as they look to close out the competition this weekend.
Nambucca Heads and Sawtell both inched closer to winning their respective grade six titles with good wins in round nine.
In the red division, both Bellingen and Park Beach suffered losses to give Nambucca a little breathing space buthe leaders will still need to win their final round to reach the final.
Woolgoolga's narrow 4-2 victory over second-placed West Coffs was not enough to keep their season alive and it may have also ended West Coffs' chances as they have slipped four points behind Sawtell in the blue section.
In grade seven, a similar situation has has eventuated with one team in each section almost safe but not quite over the line.
Nambucca are four and a half points clear of Macksville in the red division and can afford a narrow loss while in the blue division, Urunga need only one point although Park Beach will not go down without a fight and and can still threaten with a 6-0 victory.
It is rare that in a ten-week season there are still a number of grades to be decided.
It is even rarer that in three of the grades there are more than two teams still in contention.