David Downey Reigns Supreme

by Pieter Harris

The Western Australian Men’s State Singles concluded at the Bassendean Bowling Club on Sunday with a first-time winner crowned as the 2021-22 Champion.

The first Semi-Finals was a back-and-forth affair with David Downey (Manning) overcoming Dale Marsland (Mosman Park) 25-21. Downey started quickly, racing to a 7-2 lead with an early four and three on consecutive ends. However, Marsland put together a great run, winning eight of the next eleven ends to take the lead 15-10. Downey again won multiple ends and when he got to 21-16 in the first to 25 contest, he looked to have the running. But again Marsland fought back and drew level at 21 all with his own run of four consecutive ends. With both players playing outstanding bowls, it was Downey who was able to finish it off with a couple of two’s to win 25-21.

The second Semi-Final saw Clive Adams (Cambridge) lead for much of the game before getting overrun by the fast-finishing Russell Bates (Doubleview) 25-24. Adams jumped out to a 5-1 lead and then slowly pulled away from Bates to look the likely winner at 19-11. While most people at Bassendendean were glad to feel the breeze come in to cool things off early in the afternoon, Adams would have hoped it could have stayed away a bit longer as Bates took his game to another level. Adams continued to play very well but Bates getting close early and often each end was telling. A two, four, and then a two to Bates turned the 11-19 deficit into a 19-19 scoreline very quickly. Adams dug in to pick up singles and looked on the verge of victory at 24-21 and holding game. However, Bates was not going to be denied and won the last four ends to win 25-24.

As per usual the Bassendean Bowling Club produced a magnificent 17 second green for the final day of the State Singles. However, what would have been a joy to play on in the morning with hardly a breeze bowling, albeit quite hot, became more difficult in the afternoon as a gusty cooling breeze settled in. However, you wouldn’t have known it as both players had their moments of covering the jack during the game.

Bates started quickly with a three on the third end to lead 4-1 but after an extended break to Downey due to Bates’s long semi-final, Downey found his groove and both players went bowl for bowl for the next 19 ends. With the score at 9-8 in Downey’s favor, a change came over the game. Downey won seven of the next nine ends to have one hand on the trophy at 22-10. However as Bates showed in his semi-final, he would not be beaten without a fight. Again it happened quickly with Bates grabbing seven shots over four ends to move to 17-22. The Downey supporters may have been getting a little nervous but David Downey certainly wasn’t as he finished off the Russell Bates fightback with a big three to move to a 25-17 victory and the title of the 2021-22 Western Australian Men’s State Singles Champion.