Inter-village challenge goes to Palm Lakes Tea Gardens

Shauna Black from Tea Gardens won the Spider-bowl.

FAST greens and steady hands had balls speeding along at the Palm Lake Resort Interclub Lawn Bowls Challenge between Tea Gardens and Foster Lakes villages on Sunday 30 July.

Tea Gardens won the first challenge back in February, and since Forster’s green remains under construction, this return match was a home-game chance for Tea Gardens to retain the shield for the year.

Nearly 100 bowlers and spectators gathered upon the synthetic, all-weather Tea Gardens green, with lighting under its gigantic, hangar-like roof, ready to enjoy an unseasonably warm winter’s Sunday.

The fun began with the ‘spider-bowl’, the crocheted redback targeted on the green, with Shauna Black from Tea Gardens winning in what proved a good omen for the home team.

As the 18-end competition began, the 64 players from both villages filled all eight lanes, their laser-like focus on the balls and jacks unbroken, not even by the Forster Lakes cheerleaders roaming around the sidelines.

The scoreboard told a compelling story: Tea Gardens grabbed and held an early 21-point lead, although Forster clawed some back by the 12th end.

The day’s biggest controversy was a disputed jack placement, sorted, thankfully, by the Tea Gardens resident umpire Kathie Rimmer, who, unlike the balls, showed no bias whatsoever.

As the final ends rolled, the visitors were keen to pull the proverbial rug out from under the home team by narrowing the gap to a mere 13 points.

By the 18th and final end, Tea Gardens achieved glory, with a final score of 167 to Forster’s 106.

Lunch was catered for by resident volunteers headed by Rod and Christine Larkin, then dreams were made and lost in the raffles and 100 club calls, with some soothing karaoke to finish off a great day out for all.

“The winner was friendship between the two Palm Lake Resort villages,” said Tea Gardens PLR Bowling Club president Len Baker.

“Forster Lakes’ green should be completed next March, so the next game is there.”

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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