Newsletter. March 2020.
ELMWOOD PARK BOWLING CLUB. Newsletter: March 2020.
As the 2019-2020 season edges towards conclusion, its already obvious the Elmwood Park club is experiencing one of its best-ever summers.
Gary Lawson’s magnificent 14th national title in dramatic fashion at the fours national finals in Tauranga on Sunday showed that Elmwood Park’s successes come across at all levels – from individual performances at national championships to domination in the Canterbury Centre’s inter-club competitions.
Lawson has already proved that he is the most successful bowler ever to play in the country but this latest effort showed that not only has he proven that his recall to the New Zealand team had been long overdue, but that he probably has another decade of top-level bowls to be played on the national and international scene.
Lawson skipped a team which included an old team-mate, Jamie Hill, and introduced two young Southlanders, Caleb Hope and Sheldon Bagrie-Howley, into his ranks and they came from behind to beat another Black Jack, Mike Kernaghan.
To make this final even more significant for Elmwood Park, Kernaghan’s team included two other Elmwood Park players, Kelvin Scott and Lance Pascoe.
The turning point came on the 16th end, when Lawson trailed Kernaghan 12 – 16 and was three down on the head. Lawson played a magnificent draw shot on his forehand to bring the score back to 16 – 15 and edged ahead to take the title. In paying tribute to the performances of his young team-mates, Lawson added to the media that no title win was more important than any other and that he enjoyed all 14 titles.
“They’re hard to win, you never know when you’re going to win your last.”
As much as we all enjoyed Lawson’s success, it must be hoped that Elmwood Park, as a club, makes some kind of complaint to Bowls New Zealand that it was ridiculous that thousands of club bowlers throughout the country missed out on a weekend of inter-club bowls, so that an elite few played at the nationals in the North Island.
Most of our club players play precious little inter-club bowls for the subs we have to pay and it is hoped the club is pro-active in making our thoughts known around the administrative tables.
The Centre’s inter-club competitions have all concluded, apart from those who will continue at the end-of-season finals weekend.
Elmwood Park has generally performed well, even though some of the divisions were a little disappointing.
The very powerful men’s Watson Shield combination won its section and will progress to the finals weekend at the end of March, in spite of often being under strength because of players being away at representative fixtures or top-level tournaments.
The second tier Div. 1 eights also won their grade with highly consistent post-Christmas performances and this was helped by selectors sticking to set combinations.
It was disappointing to see the top women’s team, full of highly experienced, top class representative players, falter at the last hurdle against Canterbury last weekend but the 2 – 1 loss reflected the over-all high standards by several other clubs.
In recent weeks, it was good to see the women’s section of the club hold a special meeting to discuss the problems which saw Elmwood Park only enter one top level team in the centre inter-club, leaving several second tier players with no inter-club play. The meeting seemed to reflect that the situation was definitely not the fault of the selectors, but rather of several players who opted out of lower grade options. Let’s hope the meeting helped erase such problems for next season, so that all players get the chance to play inter-club bowls, at what-ever grade they are chosen for.
For the many club members wondering what is happening with building proposals sought by the Elmwood Club to build new facilities and a covered second green, Lorraine McLeod has updated.
“Representatives of TEC board and consultants from Davie Lovell Smith met with Joanne Walton and four other Council staff members on Wednesday 19 February. The main points discussed were the trees (an arborist had made a site visit on Thursday 28 February. We are now waiting on that report.)
We are still waiting for a full report from that meeting and had hoped to have it prior to the next TEC meeting but that looks unlikely. We are exploring some alternatives that may speed up this drawn out process.
This waiting game is exasperating – no wonder everything rebuild or new build takes so long to progress in Christchurch.”