Pirie Lawn Bowls hosts yearly Spring Carnival

The Port Pirie Bowling Club's Spring Carnival had a very different feeling to it when it was played throughout September 10 to 13.

Club legend and the main driver of its ongoing success Bryan Lines was not present to greet the players for the first time since the carnival began 33 years ago, following his recent passing.

The tournament has since been renamed as the Bryan Lines Memorial Spring Carnival in his honour.

Attending the four day carnival was 40 individual mens and ladies teams representing 32 individual clubs from Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Upper North, Mid North, the Riverland and Adelaide.

Port Pirie Bowling Club president Desmond Laube said it is always great to be a part of the carnival.

"We are leading up to 100 years of our club on November 27, and this is a special carnival for us this year because we lost one of our members Bryan Lines," he said.

"He was one of the first members to start this carnival 33 years ago."

Mr Laube has been involved in bowls since he was a young boy and welcomes budding bowlers to the club.

"Bowls is a great game and if you are thinking of taking it on and you get the bug, you would have wished you had taken it on years ago," he said.

"I wish more younger people that have trouble playing other sports could come out an try it, because there is an Under 16 and 18 state team and you can actually travel the world in playing bowls."

South Australian Multi-Disability Lawn Bowls team member Chris Flavel tried his hand in the Friday Men's Medley.

"I have been playing bowls since I was 10. I started here in Pirie, but I was diagnosed with muscular distrophy in my mid-20s, so that kind of got me into the team," he said.

"With a physical condition it still allows me to be competitive.

"It is just good to be back and Bryan Lines was my first coach in bowls, so it means a bit to me to come back since he passed away a few weeks ago."

Corrine Lynch represented Laura Bowling Club in the Ladies Medley on Thursday and is also a member of the Women's State Tier One Squad.

Ms Lynch first got involved in the sport through her husband and now 12 years on she hasn't looked back.

"He's disappointed about that ... he said 'I've created a monster'," she laughed.

"Certainly with lawn bowls I really enjoy it and like the challenge of the game.

"This is the first game for the year for our region and it is just lovely to be out enjoying the sunshine, having good camaraderie with the other bowlers and of course getting some good bowls in."

There were 64 bowlers in the Ladies Medley and they were allowed two male substitutes per team. The teams enjoyed beautiful weather as they competed for cash prizes and vouchers provided by E Street Clothing & Accessories and Bowls Sports Therapy.

Port Augusta's Sue Brady, Neeleen Thompson, Garnett Brady and Timm Thompson won the day from Port Pirie's BHAS team Maxine Northcott, Wilma Hendry, Melinda Pearce and Kerrie Rawlins. Third place went to a Crystal Brook team, Agnes Dhu, Sue Burgess, Betsy Wilson and Kay Venning.

In a quirk of fate, a team skippered by Brian Lines won the Spencer Motors Men's Medley held on Friday. Brian has been coming to the carnival from Adelaide for many years and had jokingly called Bryan Lines 'Grandpa'.

Bryan would have been very pleased his namesake Brian and his team of Paul Edwards, Darryl Stephens and Roy Palmer had celebrated a win.

Saturday's Men's Medley jointly sponsored by Autocrash Repairers and the Travelway Motel, was won by skipper Paul Ruffles, Brian Shillabeer and Mark Cooper from the ETSA club in Port Augusta and Mick Fuller formerly of ETSA but now playing for Melrose. They were the only team from the 22 teams competing that won all of their four games

Sunday's Risdon Hotel sponsored Men's Medley was won narrowly by another team from Port Augusta. Timm Thompson and Ian Long from the ETSA club and Michael Grimes from the Port Augusta club and bolstered by former State representative Neville Leue from the Port Germein club. They won three of their games and drew the other game to register 172 points.

Paul Ruffle's team also won 3.5 games but fell 3 points short of the winners with 169 points. Their second placing was enough to ensure they won the Bryan Lines Aggregate for the best team over the two days.

Organisers said they were delighted with the success of the well supported carnival, with many competitors congratulating the Port Pirie Bowling Club on the quality of the greens and the hospitality.

A large number of teams have already nominated for next year's event.

The club would like to thank all bowlers and visitors for their friendly compliance with the COVID-19 regulations, which were monitored by rostered COVID Marshals.

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