Port Neill bowling club wins Eastern Eyre Pennance for 2017

WINNERS: The ecstatic Port Neill bowling club winners. Names in story.
WINNERS: The ecstatic Port Neill bowling club winners. Names in story.

PORT Neill Bowling Club members broke a 49-year drought and defeated Cowell South by 19 shots to win the Eastern Eyre Peninsula’s bowls pennant at Cleve.

The club’s last first division pennant win was in 1967/1968 when Australia’s then Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared while swimming off the Victorian coast.

Eleven Prime Ministers have come and gone since but not the club’s desire to bring home the win. 

The open gender competition consists for four teams of four players from each club, which participated. 

Cowell South finished the minor round in top position and defeated fourth placed Cleve Green the previous week to qualify for the final. 

Port Neill finished third and edged out second placed Cowell North by a single shot in a nail-biting elimination final.

Misty rain surprised everyone during the early stage of the 25-end grand final game as Port Neill took an early lead. 

Once the weather improved, the green dried out and made for some good tight heads.

Port Neill led by 11 shots at half time. 

A lead of this nature can be easily overtaken and the stage was set for an interesting second half. 

Cowell South having all the experience at winning finals and Port Neill far less, having qualified for the finals on eight occasions over the previous nine years.

However, Port Neill managed to gain momentum and in spite of a few tense moments were able to win 108 shots to 89 shots

Port Neill’s Jackie Field won 31-11, John Walker 32-19 and Kym Shepherd 27-25.

Cowell South’s Geoff Lehmann won 34-18

Both clubs thanked the Cleve club for hosting the final, Paul Wheare and his helpers for preparing the green, those who helped in the kitchen and bar and for supplying the match umpire, Colin Traeger.

Pictured are: Back: Jackie Field, Jeff Field, Kane Goldsworthy, Ray Hetzel, Lyall Bates, Tiff Kimber, Bevan Pfitzner (obscured), Charlie Dunn, Ian Tait, John Walker; front: Kym Shepherd, Murray Mason, Dene Kimber, Nick Vaughan, Kath Hetzel and Graham Pugsley.