WHEN the COVID pandemic first struck bowling clubs around the country were forced into adopting innovative ways to continue holding special events.
And, just like all those other clubs, Lithgow City was no exception and mid way through 2020 City's men's sub-body created the "Lithgow City Men's In House Pairs" tournament to compensate for the annual Open Spring Pairs event.
This open event drew entries from all over NSW but with travel restricted modifications to entry requirements were needed.
The new event replacing the spring pairs is restricted to full bowling members of the Lithgow City club only.
Committee members were initially worried entry numbers would be vastly reduced but that was not to be the case and when the second event was held (delayed, naturally, due to another lockdown) a full field of 56 bowlers, complete with a number of reserves, filled the entry sheet.
BCIB Insurance, Club Lithgow, Hunter Mining Methods, Bloom's Chemists and Quickcut Mowing Services came on board as sponsors to ensure there was an abundance of prizes on offer.
The entry fee not only included a chance to win one of the 14 prizes on offer but also a meal served at the half way mark of the four games played.
After all the rain of recent weeks, when played started bowlers were greeted by very warm and clear conditions.
However bowlers had to prove their adaptability, playing on greens of vastly different conditions.
After the first two games there were seven teams having recorded two wins each, with five of these teams going on to win their two afternoon games.
The final result ended with first prize going to 'the mountain men' in Maurie Nugent and Greg Quinn with four wins and a margin of 37 shots.
A third bowler from the mountains Darrell Wright was paired with Ian Townsend to take second spot with 4+26.
The remaining prizemoney went down to eight place and was won by: Kevin Shorney and Jack Rayner (4+19), Frank Mierczak and Bob Gallagher (4+17), Anthony Brown and Richard Forbes (4+15), Josh Sharwood and Barry Achurch (3+11), Col Wotton and Rob Clarke (2+5) and Ritchie Bilby and Don Farnsworth (also 2+5).
The remaining prizemoney was distributed to those teams with the best morning and afternoon winning margins and was won by: Morning, Warren Gillespie and Ian Northey and John Perry and Davie Hunter (both with a +9 margin) and (afternoon) Garry Sutherland and Lionel Johnstone (+7) and Greg Hilliard and Phil Morcom (+8).
This was the final event on the men's calendar for the year, although the club fours and handicap pairs have yet to be finalised.
The new bowling year will get underway when nominations close on January 16 for the minor singles and January 23 for the major singles.
Play is set down to start on January22 for the minor singles and February 5 for the majors.
Pre-Christmas social bowls saw Rob Clarke team up with Col Wotton to take last Wednesday's social bowls with 15+7, clear winners ahead of the 12+13 from Michael Hughes, Phil Morcom and Eric Fitzgerald.
There was another good attendance of 28 bowlers who competed for extra prizemoney in the Thursday twilight event, won by Kerry Clarke, Jeff Martin and Darryll Campbell with a mammoth 14+11, counting out the more realistic 9+9 from Anthony Brown, Owen Bulkley and Nick Olson.
Bowlers need not put away their bowling gear as the regular social program will continue over the holiday period.
This comprises men's events on Wednesday and Saturday, mixed socials on Friday and Sunday and twilight events on Tuesday (mixed) and Thursday (men).
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