Epsom new Bowls 3Five 1-5 Year champs
17 November 2022
Epsom Eagles new titleholders

23 teams lined up to battle for the honour and the glory of securing the biggest (and heaviest) trophy available in the Bowls Auckland cabinet.

After three weeks of round-robin, the top qualifiers gathered at Remuera’s covered green on 17 November at 5.30pm to watch President Peter Bennett conduct the finals live draw.

In the quarter-finals, Epsom Eagles and Ellerslie Young Guns both had 1½ to ½ set wins over their opposition of Pt Chev Pirates and Te Atatu Herons. On the bottom of the draw, Pringle Park was pushed hard by Howick, they had to rely on the tiebreaker to secure their win. Meanwhile, Pt Chev Swashbucklers had a close two-set win over Royal Oak Alpha.

In the first semi-final, Epsom eagles faced Ellerslie Young Guns. Epsom won the first set on a see=saw score of 4-3. In the second set, Epsom was 5-0 up after 2 ends. Ellerslie played their power play and scored a net 4. They then scored 2 and a 2 to secure the set. Epsom dug deep, securing the tie-break end 1-0.

In the second semi-final, Pringle Park was up against Pt Chev Swashbucklers. Pringle Park started strongly and kept up the pressure to win the set 5-2. The tide turned in the second set, Pt Chev securing a 6-1 win. The tie-break was required to separate the teams, Pringle Park taking the win 1-0.

The final saw Epsom Eagles’ Mike Luaga (S), KJ Lark & Jeff Amadia (L) taking on Pringle Park’s David Windler (S), Darryl Mackie & John Vujnovich (L). The Eagles flew and soared all over the Park in the first set to secure a 5-1 win. In the second set, the Eagles had their wings clipped. They scored a 2 in the first end. The second end saw KJ lark draw a resting toucher only to see Darryl Mackie’s reply of an equal resting toucher. Both skips could not dislodge the bunch, and the end was tied. Pringle Park played their power play and secured three for a net gain of six. Another two saw them hold an 8-2 lead going into the final end. Epsom needed 6 to tie, tried hard but it was not to be. Again the tie-break end would decide the outcome.

I wonder if the tie-break experience counts for anything. The statistics show that in the five rounds of qualifying Epsom lost their only tie-break game in R5. Whereas Pringle Park had encountered three tie-break games, losing two in R1 & R4 and winning the other in R5. Going into this final, Epsom had won their SF on the tie Break, whereas Pringle Park had won both their games (QF & SF) on the tie-break

The statistics will show that Epsom won the tie-break 1-0. What is not obvious is the closeness and the intensity of that one end. All six players were never far from the jack and the game could have gone either way. Congratulations Epsom. Mike Luaga mentioned that this game held a bit of redemption for he and Jeff Amadia as they were both in the runners-up team last year.

Special thanks to Remuera for their hospitality on the night.

Click here to view the results