It was third time lucky for the vastly experienced Central Otago representative trio of Trevor Drake, Linley O’Callaghan and Trevor Ludlow as they combined to take out the Omakau Bowls3Five trophy late last month.
Held over Labour Weekend, the event, now in its third year, has grown in popularity since its inception, inspired by the Bowls3Five format as seen on Sky Sport.
In a bid to freshen up the local tournament landscape, the small Central Otago club first chanced their arm in 2019 and has since had plenty of interest from clubs as far south as Invercargill and surrounding provinces.
With the weather playing its part throughout the weekend, a full complement of 16 teams took to the green to play eight section games in a bid to find the top performing sides. Naturally, the quick-fire format threw up plenty of surprises throughout qualifying, though it was The Unbowlievables (Drake, O’Callaghan & Ludlow), The Remarkables (C.Buchanan, M. O’Connor & B McAuley), The Stars (D. Urquhart, K. Urquhart & J. Brooke) and The Wanaka Rockets (R.Muir, T.Malcolm & M.Steel) that emerged as top contenders heading through to the Section A playoffs.
The post-section fixtures saw all four teams line-up against one another, with Drake and his Alexandra clubmates prevailing in a closely fought round-robin. Richie Muir and his Rockets side took out second place, The Remarkables secured third spot and Urquhart skipped his stars to fourth position.
Meanwhile, last year’s winners Dion Kiddy, Pip Kiddy and Mid Canterbury import J Nowell topped Section 2, finishing ahead of The Miracle Workers, Pat and his Playmates and Arrow Force.
Section 3 saw the Hawea Big Bots take out first place, with the Parajacks finishing second, The Red Devils third and The Fruitheads rounding out fourth spot.
In other results, The Crackerjacks finished top in Section 4 followed by The Brighton Bandits, A Rose and Two Thorns and The Bowling Stones.
Reflecting on the event, tournament organiser Pam Walker, who herself competed in the Parajacks combination, said the event was enjoyed by all.
“Everything fell in to place nicely this year, we couldn’t have asked for better weather, the games were so close all round and everyone really looked like they were having a great time,” she said.
“We’re only a small club, but this is our big undertaking for the year and we always get a lot of support behind it. The hospitality has been first class and my big thanks must go to all the kitchen helpers, tournament volunteers and those who have a part in making this event what it is.”
The event will return again next year, but if you’re intending to play, be quick - with the reputation fast doing the round, spare entries don’t seem to hang around too long.
RESULTS AT A GLANCE
2021 Omakau Bowls3Five, Central Otago
1st: The Unbowlievables (L O,Callagan , T Drake , T Ludlow) 2nd: Wanaka Rockets (R Muir , T Malcolm , M Steel)
3rd: The Remarkables (C Buchanan , M O’Connor , B McAuley) 4th: The Stars (D Urqhuart , K Urqhuart , J Brooke)
1st: Merinos (D Kiddy , P Kiddy , J Nowell) 2nd: The Miracle Workers (T Cowan , T Gallagher , S Dawson) 3rd: Pat and his Playmates (P Houlahan , J Barclay , B Brown) 4th: Arrow Force (K Jackson , D Jackson , R Milne)
1st: Hawea Big Bots 2nd: Parajacks 3rd: The Red Devils 4th: The Fruitheads
1st: The CrackerJacks. 2nd: The Brighton Bandits 3rd: A Rose and 2 thorns 4th: The Bowling Stones