Alan Barker and Laurie Johnson Crowned Champions

by Pieter Harris

Quinns Rocks Alan Barker and Laurie Johnson have taken out the Men’s Over 60’s State Pairs Championship with a solid win over the composite team of Dave Cliff (Brookton) and Clem Nottle (Pingelly) at the Osborne Park Bowling Club.

After rain and thunderstorms caused the event to be rescheduled from the original dates in early November, Bowls WA would like to thank and congratulate all competitors who came back to finish their sectional games even when they could not win the section. I am sure it was appreciated by those teams that were in contention.

In the semi-finals, Barker and Johnson held on to win 19-15 win over Manning’s Keith Godfrey and Jo Angel after surviving a late charge from the Manning pair. While Cliff and Nottle were pushed all the way before finally coming out on top 14-13 over Wanneroo pairing Kingsley Toster and David Burns.

With the weather being kind and not too hot and the Osborne Park green running well, it was set up for a great final. Alan Barker and Laurie Johnson won the first end but quickly found themselves behind with David Cliff and Clem Nottle winning the next three to take an early 4-1 lead.

Barker and Johnson then did some damage by first taking a two and then grabbing a big five to jump to the lead. Not to be perturbed, Cliff and Nottle settled with a couple of two’s themselves to draw back level at 8-8. With Johnson particularly strong in the lead position, the Barker pair strung four ends together. Even more importantly, they were able to do it in multiples with a three and a four coming on the 10th and 11th end to stretch the lead out to 17-8.

With six ends to play Cliff and Nottle started the road back and like their opponents won four ends in a row to get within three shots with two ends to play. While Cliff was able to score singles and two’s during the four end run, a couple of lost opportunities to get a large number with a trail of the jack would turn out to be crucial. Johnson was able to again come through backed up ably by skip Barker who played some crucial bowls when the ends were going against them.

A single to Barker on the second last end gave him a four-shot lead and when Johnson got his first two bowls close on the last end, it was all about covering the angles for the remainder of the game. David Cliff started looking for ways to firstly put the jack in the ditch and then resorted to kill the end when all hope was lost and Barker was able to cover all possibilities of a four. However it wasn’t to be and Alan Barker and Laurie Johnson came away with the championship and a state title for both themselves and the Quinns Rocks Bowling Club.