We hosted the District 14 mixed pairs playdowns and six teams competed for the right o represent our District in the Ontario mixed pairs championships which will also be held in Cobourg on August 6/7th.
I was wearing one of my other hats for the weekend – District 14 Chair and convenor of the playdowns. There was lots of local interest. Carl Feguson and Nan Hendren played together. Peter Stuart-Sheppard was playing with Lynn Frost from Etobicoke, Baylee van Steijn was playing with Jake Masterson from Peterborough and Al Purcell was playing with Nicky Chamois of Oshawa. The other teams were Robert Steffen and Nanci Myers and John MacKenzie and Sue Logeman from Oshawa.
The format was round robin so each team had to play five games over two days. Ferguson & Hendren got off to a good start beating Stuart-Sheppard & Frost. Van Steijn & Masterson were hot out of the blocks with a big win over MacKenzie & Logeman (Oshawa) and one of the favourites, Steffen & Myers (Oshawa) beat Purcell & Chamois. Round two went very much to form although Ferguson & Hendren gave the Steffen team a tough time. Ahead for a long time they just fell short in the last few ends (did I mention each game was 18 ends?) It was a similar story for them in round three, doing well and then just losing in the last few ends. As Carl said, if they had been playing 14 end games they would have won all games on day 1.
At that stage it looked like the crunch game would be the van Steijn/Steffen game in round four but then there was another turn around in round three as MacKenzie & Logeman were ahead of Steffen & Mayers by six points with two ends remaining. Surely an upset on the cards? No, the Steffen team took six points in end 17 and two in 18.
At the end of Day 1 the top three teams were:
Van Steijn & Masterson 9 points
Steffen & Myers 9 points
Purcell & Chamois 9 points
Day 2 dawned with the threat of rain and thunderstorms but thankfully the forecast turned out to be wrong and, apart from some brief showers, the bowling weather Gods were kind to us.
And so to the match we all thought would be the title decider – van Steijn v Steffen. Not surprisingly it was nip and tuck all the way. After 17 ends van Steijn held a lead of one and had the final bowl. After Steffen's final bowl a long consultation took place between van Steijn and Masterson as they tried to decide whether or not they were shot. It really was very close and van Steijn was concerned that her final bowl may disturb the head so she elected not to bowl it. The tension went up several notches as the umpire was called to measure which bowl was shot. And the decision was ......... the bowls were equidistant so that meant a win for van Steijn and Masterson. Surely the title was within their grasp as a win against Purcell & Chamois would clinch matters.
But what did I say at the outset? Nothing is certain and Purcell & Chamois won the last round game.
We had a three way tie for first place with van Steijn, Steffen and Purcell all on nine points.
The tie breaker rules are quite complex and I won't try to explain them here. Suffice to say that the tie breakers were four ends each and Steffen was seeded #1 in the tie breaker. van Steijn and Purcell would play again for the right to play Steffen. Van Steijn beat Purcell convincingly and after two days it was down to a four end tie breaker between Steffen and van Steijn. After three ends they were tied and we had the drama of one end to decide the winner. Jake Masteron played some excellent lead bowls to give his team the advantage and Myers and Steffen were unable to respond. Van Steijn had the luxury of not having to roll her final bowls as Steffen's last bowl failed to get his team shot.
It was a fitting climax to a great weekend of bowling. Baylee van Steijn and Jake Masterson will be playing in the Ontario championships.
Finally some thank yous.
- Mike Hendren and Carl Ferguson for preparing such wonderful greens
- Sarah van Steijn, Sharyl Ann Milligan, Bill Rowe and Mary Salter for kitchen duties
- Those members who came to watch and support the teams
- Umpire Jan Bauer
I would urge all members, old and new, to spend some time at the Ontario championships to support Baylee and Jake and use the opportunity to watch and learn form Ontario's finest bowlers.