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Round 11 vs CLAYTON – At Ashburton

Ashburton hosted the might of Clayton trying to consolidate their position at the top of the Ladder. We know no matches will be easy so it is imperative we take every opportunity presented to gain vital points.
So we fielded an almost full strength side, missing only the finesse and guile of Peter Simos.
SKIP: Rob Wilson Tony Villani Grant Pickering
3rd. Ian Lee Liz Kortum Dianne McLeod
2nd. Shaun Wilson Ray NAmour Ken Lawrence
Lead: Heinz Kazenwedel Terry Quirk Sharon Cornish

Clearly Clayton had come to play, they had a different looking side from last time we meet, and some very strong bowlers.
After 10 ends Ashy trailed in 2 rinks and was just ahead on the Big board 29 vs 27. Grant Pickering’s rink seemed to just not have the right bowls tonight and the opposing skip was excellent. At one point drawing a dead set resting toucher when down 4 in the head. Despite winning 8 of the 17 ends Ashy could not collect multiple shots but dropped two 3’s, two 2’s and a disasterous 5 on the very first end. Battling on gamely against a dominant and noisy Tim Gole led rink they fell 8 vs 19, and finished 2 ends before the other 2 rinks.
In Rob Wilson’s rink the opposing skip and 3rd were putting on a clinic. On NUMEROUS ends Ashy held 3, 4, 5 and even 6 shots, only to go down by 1 to unbelievable bowls and just that little bit of luck. They dropped another disasterous 6 on the 2nd end and this would prove pivotal later in the night.after 14 ends they trailed 9 vs 13, and held multiple shots on all of the last 3 ends, but we will come back to them.

Tony Villani’s rink had an awful start and trailed 1 vs 8 after 5 ends. But this was clearly a catalyst for them, as in the next 9 ends they collected 25 shots and only lost 2 to lead after 14 ends by 16 shots, 26 vs 10!! This included two 6’s.
It was shortly after this that Grant’s rink finished, leaving Tony and Rob with 2 ends to play each.The Big Board showed us that Ashy was 1 shot behind. Tony collected a 2 on the 16th and Rob dropped a 1. Rob’s rink was actually holding 5 and the Clayton Skip rolled a bowl in from over 1.5 metres out that sat on the jack!!!!
So scores are level with 1 end to go in each rink. In Rob’s rink we put 2 dead on the jack! And had a couple around it. The Clayton skip missed with his 1st, as did Rob, but he didn’t with his 2nd and he killed the jack. Respotted on the T Ashy held 1 shot – a good 20 feet from the jack, Rob with 1 bowl to go.
Next door Clayton held 1 shot, just in front of the jack, but Ashy had 3 or 4 catchers, if Tony could only nudge the shot bowl it would send the jack to us.
Rob put down his last bowl, just needing to get past the front bowls, but unbelievably he didn’t. Ashy collects 1 shot only. Meaning Tony needed to nudge that shot bowl with his last bowl.
I think 24 people held their breath as the bowl headed down the green. Lin looks great – all on the weight. Oh No! it isn’t quite there, just falling short.
The Final result a Draw, but Clayton wins 2 rinks to Ashy’s 1.
Final Rink scores were - Tony winning by 16 shots, 28 vs 12 (fantastic effort that almost got us home), Rob just missing out 10 vs 11, and Grant’s rink stemming the flow and fighting till the end 8 vs 19.
We will probably drop to 3rd. place and head to play 4th. Placed Cheltenham on their home Green next Tuesday. A HUGE Match!
Just some fantastic bowling tonight and we did well to recover from a very bad start (behind 6 vs 20 after 12 ends.) Keep working Ashy, the Finals beckon for those that want it.


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