Port Pirie sides hit the ground running

Port Pirie Bowling Club's Division 1 Side may not be in contention for the chance to win a Pennant Flag during the final rounds of the lawn bowls season but Pirie's three other Division Sides hit the ground running on Saturday's first finals round.

Pirie Division 2 knocked Crystal Brook out of the finals race at Gulnare with a three rink 21 shot 114/93 result. Still recovering from ill health himself Caleb Connor was anticipating a seat on the sidelines as reserve on Friday afternoon only to be elevated to Skipper on the day due to a late withdrawal due to sickness. Pirie is lucky to have had a player of Caleb's caliber on standby and together with Gordon Stringer, Cliff Lillyman and Lance Leak always had Greg Burton under pressure and built on an early lead during their second half to end with a very satisfying 30/14 result. Mick Daly, Jeff Blackwell, Peter Woolford and Des Laube's poor early ends against Andrew Young looked ominous but a handy seven at tea showed a vast improvement on the scorecard. Six very good scores on the run home cushioned the rink against Andrew's seven over the last stages of the match resulting in Laube 31, Young 26. With Bill Williams on fire with his bowlers arm and repeatedly setting the ends up for Leon Conder, Ken Dohnt and Trevor Summers in their contest against Neville Wilson, the Pirie Rink was in a winning position ten in front by the tea interval. Six ends to five to Pirie after tea which included two fives built an almost unassailable total that lead to a twenty shot 37/17 result. Crystal Brook Skipper Jeff Young saved Crystal Brook from an absolute whitewash  by guiding Tony Fusco Kevin Crouch and Peter Frith to an impressive 36/16 over Pirie's only losing rink skippered by Kevin Connor. 

Division 3 continued their top form against second-placed Jamestown at Booleroo Centre, and their win ensures them a place in the grand final on April 1. Tony Coombe, Jim Kassapis, Phil Paparella and Peter Fiddaman led the way for the side being 26/2 up at tea against Heather Hams. Although it was all Jamestown during the second half it was all too hard for the Jamestown rink who would have been disappointed with the result that saw Fiddy home by 13 shots 30/17. Graham Laube had to chase Don Mudge all day and came within one shot of the Jamestown skipper to finish down 21/22. John Yull faced a deficit of 13 shots after just four ends in his match against Nan Pilkington. Though once on the board the Pirie Rink picked up their game and trailed 14/18 following tea, however Nan matched them shot for shot thereafter to finally win by six 27/21.

In Division 4, Pirie had to overcome Peterborough at Melrose to move into next week's round of the finals and did it with just three shots to spare 35/32. Phil Introna, Rodney Warne, Annette Richards and Doug Key enjoyed a good run up to tea and went to the break with a seven shot advantage. Eight to five to Doug over the latter stages saw the Pirie Rink cruise to the line with a very valuable 11 shot advantage 23/12 which more than covered Barry Rees's eight shot loss to Reg Britza 12/20.