Sawtell win grade 7 pennants

IN any sporting contest they say it is never over until the well proportioned woman starts to warm the vocal chords.

Sawtell’s grade seven bowls team adopted this attitude when they staged a fighting comeback to win the Mid North Coast lawn bowls grade seven pennant in the sectional play-off against Nambucca Heads at North Beach on Sunday.

Playing most of their bowls on synthetic greens, the 17-second North Beach greens ideally suited the Nambucca team as Sawtell fell off the pace in the early and middle stages. As the afternoon wore on, the pace of the green slowed, a dramatic change came over the game.

Sawtell supporters, who until that stage had nervously looked on, suddenly came to life as the momentum swung in their favour and the players responded to the roars of delight which greeted every bowl close to the jack. Typical of the fighting spirit shown by Sawtell was the performance of the rink skipped by Roger Simpson.

Down 11-0 after five ends and with their skip a little off colour, Sawtell gradually worked their way back into the game and left their rivals in their wake with a 22-4 run which gave them a seven shot win.

Down 24-12 with three ends remaining, Reg (Lofty) Pratt’s team also typified the way pennants should be played as a team game taking eight shots in the final three ends to make a valuable contribution.

Andy Garufi’s rink was in control for most of the day before winning 24-13 as Sawtell stormed home to take the pennant by 15 shots.

For many players, the win was a special moment to savour. Ian Nelson won his first district pennant badge after a campaign of 20-odd years and popular player Lyndsay Scaysbrook had another badge to add to his collection.

It was mixed emotions for David White who, while celebrating the win, had to also contemplate the misfortune of being unavailable for the zone final.

The performance of Rob Mangold playing to the crowd with every bowl was one of many highlights of a side which at one stage looked down and out after successive losses to Coffs Ex-Services and Bellingen in the sectional rounds.

To their credit, though, they came good when it mattered most. Sawtell players and supporters are hoping they can continue their good form when they meet Lake Cathie at Park Beach on Sunday, May 30, for a place in the State finals at Maitland.

Members of the winning team were: Lyndsay Scaysbrook, Les Hilton, Ian Nelson, Reg (Lofty) Pratt, Robbie Mangold, John Adams, Keith Sharman, Andy Garufi, Wally Vaughan, David Schofield, David White, Roger Simpson.

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