Helensvale?s Nathan Rice delivers as Andrew Atwood watches on during last week?s Test clash with Wales at the Tweed Heads Bowls
Helensvale?s Nathan Rice delivers as Andrew Atwood watches on during last week?s Test clash with Wales at the Tweed Heads Bowls

Winter Carnival action to hot up



THE ladies take the spotlight all next week with the Ladies Winter Carnival going ahead full steam.

The ladies kick start the carnival on Sunday with Mixed Fours at Burleigh Heads and Helensvale and then straight into the Fours on Monday, Pairs on Tuesday and the Singles on Wednesday.

The 64 teams in the Fours 16 sections of four - have many of the big names on the Gold Coast skipping teams including Di Cunnington and Ruth McRae who clash in the first match at Twin Towns on Monday.

Australian squad member Lynsey Armitage takes on 2004 Golden Nugget runner-up Judy Nardella in the first match of a tough Pairs section at Mermaid Beach on Tuesday.

Linda Morish and Chris Rembacher are also in the same section. In section 5 at Mermaid Beach, Sandra Wallace from South Australia, a regular player on the Gold Coast meets former Gold Coaster Denise Knight in the first round.

Only 90 ladies have entered the Singles but what the field lacks in quantity in certainly makes up for in quality.

Seven clubs from Paradise Point to Kingscliff will host the Singles in what should be a great of bowls for the ladies on the fabulous Gold Coast.

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LAST week the top ladies played in the two-day Helensvale Prestige Pairs with Carole McDonald and Maria Rigby taking out the $1200 first prize with five wins +49 shots. Lynsey Armitage and Karen Murphy finished a close second on five +47 and Kelsey Cotterell/Ceriann Davies third with five +45. Margaret Sproule and Joan Wallis won fourth prize with five wins + 33 shots up.

All of the top local ladies along with the interstate visitors played in this prestige event as a prelude to the Ladies Carnival and it is certainly the way to go in an effort to entice more ladies to come to the Gold Coast for the winter sunshine and top competitive bowls.

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THE Bowls Super Challenge ladies format has changed for the 2006 season with two rinks of two-bowl triples in place of the pairs and fours. The majority vote of 21 clubs voted for the change.

The Bowls Super Challenge is growing each year with an expected 32 clubs entering the new bronze division next year adding to the 20 clubs in gold and the 64 clubs in silver division.

Adding the figures for a total of 116 teams of 12 players equals 1390 male players in the competition next year then add the ladies of 116 teams of six equals 696, we have a total 2086 bowlers playing in Bowls Super Challenge for season 2006.

A mighty effort in just a few short years from a small committee but with the right formula and giving back to bowlers a great format that they want to play and have endorsed by their participation and I nearly forgot the prize pool over the $200,000 mark.

$200 per match win for the men with 58 matches each week over the gold, silver and bronze divisions equals $11,600 match payments each week of the season plus the final prizes of $15,000 to the winner of the men's gold division and $7500 to the ladies.

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THE final of the Carnival Fours was played overniight at the Tweed Heads Bowls Club from 6.30pm between G Mounsey, J Reid, I Takirau, B Baldwin and S Piggot, M Thatcher, S Gittoes, R Butler.

In the over 60s Fours, Ray Pickard's team of G Hawken, R Dobbins, A Brough will play A Cullen, N Separovich, D Fowler, and L Whiteley.

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LAWN bowls is certainly the game for all ages and no matter what age!

In the consolation fours at Tweed Heads on Friday, Graham Richards, Pat Robinson (NZ), Ivan Kostanich (NZ) and skip John Bailey took out the first prize. With a combined age of 296 - average 74 - the four outlasted and outscored 40 teams to scoop the prizepool after winning three matches with the most shots margin (and surely the highest age).



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