Zone 2 Triples events wrapped up last Saturday, with the honours shared throughout the playing area.
The inaugural President’s Reserve Triples was taken out by the East Maitland team of Robert Hampton, William Van Der Mey and Ken Morley.
They defeated Windale’s Ron Kemp, Paul Robertson and Rex Draper in a tight match, with scores locked at 19 all after 23 ends before the East Maitland trio grabbed two threes, and the championship, 25-19.
In the inaugural Senior Triples, Neil Percival, John Jennings and Jack Littlewood were too strong for Windale’s Les Pyke, George Dawes and Wayne Lambourne.
They dominated the second half of the match, winning 11 of the last 14 ends played to take the prize 30-17.
Last year’s bowler of the year, Matt Baus, started his defence of the title in spectacular fashion by combining with Raymond Terrace Club mates Clinton Doust and Ian Lean to secure the first major event of the season.
They defeated Soldiers Point’s Brian Bateman, Brody Pitham and Simon Mitchell in a final that was tight in the early stages. With scores locked at seven-apiece after eight ends, the Jets scored nine shots in the next three ends to open up a handy lead, which they held for the rest of the match to take the title 27-20.
Baus will back up this weekend with club mate Jason Stokes. They will start their defence of the Major Pairs, which they won last year as well as 2014. They will play the Nelson Bay pairing of Chris Rees and Dave Holmes in their first round encounter at Soldiers Point on Saturday morning.
Also at the Point on Saturday morning will be 2017 and 2010 champion Brian Bateman, who will team with new club mate Simon Mitchell. The pair will be looking to go one better after being defeated in the Triples Final last weekend.
First round matches will also be played at host club Nelson Bay and Stockton, with round 2 matches at the about clubs plus Lemon Tree Passage and Toronto.
Defending Senior Pairs champions Wayne Marsh and Bob Atkins will start their defence at East Maitland on Saturday morning.
They will take on Belmont’s Mark Heath and John Gregory.
The 2017 champions, Mick Brown and Mick Beesley, will be at host club Beresfield for their round 1 match against Charlestown’s Ross Brodbeck and Darryl McKinnon.
Warners Bay and Hamilton North will also host first round matches, with round 2 taking place on Saturday afternoon.
Cardiff’s Brian Mordue and Peter Jenkins will begin their defence of the President Reserves Pairs when they take on Hexham’s Alf Smith and Mick Cummings at Edgeworth on Saturday morning.
Other first round matches will be held at the host club Windale Gateshead.
Round 2 will be played at these two clubs on Saturday afternoon.
The Junior and under 25s Pairs Semis will be at Cardiff from 6pm on Tuesday, February 19.