By David Johnson
The second Queensland State Arm Bowling Championships at Musgrave Hill Bowls Club on April, 27 attracted 62 entrants and provided some unexpected results in both the singles and pairs. The contest between the eight winners of pairs sectional play saw Leon Dwyer and John McGahan overcome Vicki and Alan Cameron 32-9; David Johnson and Alan Eversham move past Royal Brockie and John Thompson 26-12; Marinus De Kleyn and Jeff Twist defeat Mike Bramley and Gordon Wood 23-18 and Roger Goodridge and Ron Schofield ease past Lynn Gilbert and Col Kingham.
In the semi-finals, Dwyer and McGahan had a hard-fought win over Johnson and Eversham 20-16, as De Kleyn and Twist brushed aside Goodridge and Schofield 25-14. The final ebbed and flowed, keeping the crowd on their toes as De Kleyn and Twist took control only to find Dwyer and McGahan refused to lay down. The tense finish could have gone either way but De Kleyn and Twist held their nerve to win the gold 16-14. In the playoff for bronze, Goodridge and Schofield dominated from the outset, overcoming Johnson and Eversham 25-13.
Like the pairs, a blind draw in the singles caused early favourites to clash in sectional play and the round of 16. The quarter-finals saw Terry McFadden defeat Roger Goodridge 21-16; Ron Schofield defeat Alan Arnold 21-7; Leon Dwyer defeat Michael Franjic 21-16 and David Johnson defeat Vicki Cameron 21-17. In the semi-finals, Schofield defeated 2018 gold medallist Terry McFadden 25-18 and David Johnson eased past giant killer Leon Dwyer 25-23.
Schofield took an early lead in the finals, only to see Johnson move past him in the middle stages and take what appeared to be a match winning lead towards the end. Johnson had two opportunities to close out the game, but could not capitalise as Schofield fought back to level the scores at 24-24. Schofield opened the last end with a near perfect first bowl in front of the jack, just centimetres away. Johnson appeared to overplay his first two bowls, both finishing two to three metres behind the head. Schofield used his second and third bowl to provide cover behind the head but still in front of Johnson’s two bowls. With his third bowl, Johnson drove at the shot bowl, knocking the jack back to the right-hand corner of the rink, 60 centimetres from the ditch to hold two shots. Aware Johnson had the last bowl, Schofield played what appeared to be a perfect draw shot, only to see it slip past the jack, hover on the edge of the green and fall into the ditch, handing the game to Johnson 25-24.
Both finals were live-streamed on Facebook by the Gold Coast Tweed District controlled by Robbie Allen, with over 4,000 viewers watching each game live. Since then, the numbers have grown to over 5,000, proving the popularity and interest in arm bowling.
The Maroon Arm Bowlers Association (MABA) thank Bowls Queensland and particularly Ron Somerville, for their assistance in organising and the running of the 2019 State Arm Bowling Championships. Ron’s hands-on support over the five days of competition was priceless – he made it a true State Championship. Generous sponsors, MABA Patron and Gold Coast City Councillor Dawn Critchlow and Kris Higgins from Travel Counsellors, ensured the financial success of the championships. It also enabled healthy prizes to be awarded to the first four place-getters in pairs and singles.
Recent amendments to the BA Policy for Artificial Devices now allow any bowler to use a bowling arm without providing a medical certificate. MABA accepts these changes and will welcome any bowler to their competitions as long as they are prepared to comply with the local conditions of play that requires the bowling arm to be used at all times during play. Exemptions for rolling the jack will only be considered when there is a demonstrable and physical disability preventing the bowler from using an arm to deliver the jack.
MABA has agreed to return to Musgrave Hill in 2020 and has reserved five days from April, 18-22 for the championships, subject to approval from Bowls Queensland. Again, the championships will be open to all Queensland registered bowlers using a bowling arm. For further information about the 2020 Championships or any matter relating to MABA or arm bowling in general, contact MABA Secretary David Johnson at email@example.com or mobile 0407 412 994.