Welcome to the final issue of Hawk Eye - the official newsletter of the Hilton Park Bowling Club. This has been the first year of the newsletter and it has operated over the period from September last year to April this year - eight editions. Whether you get the newsletter electronically by email or pick up a printed version at the bowling club, we hope you have enjoyed reading it. It would not have been possible without the efforts of Dorraine Stone who has found the time to organize the photographs, arrange the lay-out, send out the emails and print out the copies. And with all bowling matches now complete, thanks to three wins out of three games in the promotion and relegation play-offs, Hilton's final win:loss ratio from our seven sides is 60 wins and 69 losses from a total of 129 games. It's just a touch short of the 50:50 balance we hoped for but it now gives us a marker to compare our performances next summer.
The most prestigious honour at the bowling club is the Singles Championship and there is a new name on the trophy this season. After losing previously in both a semi-final and a final, Craig Standley finally won the award with a 25 shots to 15 victory over Gary Dodd. The final drew a big crowd to the club and they witnessed a top quality encounter. So well done, Craig.
Two days after that win, the Saturday Division One side was involved in a relegation/promotion play-off against Division Two side Willetton who had spent the morning beating Gosnells by one shot. Two changes had been made to the Hilton team as First Division regulars Gary Dodd and Fred Kuhnl were unavailable. They were replaced by Daniel Wood, who has had an interrupted season, and Brian Smith. With a big crowd of members encouraging the teams, Hilton got off to a steady start and it was Robbie Hunter's rink which made the first break with successive end scores of five and six shots. In no time, Hunter's rink was up 20-1 and, with the other rinks still tight, the game was heading our way by the half-way mark. Any hopes Willetton had soon disappeared as both Craig Standley's rink and Joe Bajic's rink moved into comfortable leads. In the end, it was something of an anti-climax as the winning margin was a whopping 45 shots - 114 to 69. Robbie Hunter won 38-12, Joe Bajic 34-17 and Craig Standley 23-11. The fact that things didn't click for Daniel Wood's rink which lost by 10 shots didn't matter on the day. We had confirmed out spot in Division One for next season - ahead is the task to trying to move higher up the ladder.
Men's captain Gary Saint says that, while there is always room for improvement, the club has to be satisfied with the performance of the men's teams on Saturdays and Thursdays.
“We had won promotion to Division One on Saturdays and it was clear from the start that our aim was to avoid being relegated again,” said Gary. “Well, we managed to stay out of the bottom two spots although it was pretty tight. Our big win over Gosnells at the end of the season showed the gulf between the lower end of Division One and the top end of Division Two.
“Our next step must be to move away from the relegation area into mid-table next season.
“The biggest disappointment was the Division Three side winning just three games out of 18 and being relegated. That means there will be a big drop from Division One to Division Four for our bowlers so the sooner we win promotion again the better.
“The Division Five side looked like it might make the play-offs before a run of poor results saw the team slip to sixth. “On Thursdays, we fielded three sides each week and the stand¬out was the Division Four team which won promotion.
Well done everyone.
“Overall, there was much to like about the season. The corporate bowls was a big success, the numbers at Sunday Scroungers were always good and we had 36 bowlers on the day of the club championship.
“I would like to finish by thanking everyone who gave their time to assist the club during the season. Let's try to be bigger and better next
The last Saturday of the regular season can be wrapped up in two words - three defeats. For the Division One team, it was a 7-1 loss away to Victoria Park/Carlisle which kept the side 1% points above automatic relegation. Instead, our record of six wins and 12 losses meant eighth spot on the ladder and a relegation play-off against a Division Two club (see later in newsletter for details). Our Division Three men lost 8-0 away to Fremantle and by 102 shots to 51 to confirm bottom spot on the ladder with a disappointing three wins and 15 defeats for the season. Division Five side loss 6-0 at home to top side Cockburn with only Steve O'Reilly's rink making much of a game of it in the 73-40 defeat. The side has lost four of the last six games to slip from third to sixth spot, finishing with 10 wins and eight losses for the season
Finishing second gave the Thursday Division 4 side home ground advantage for the promotion play-offs but that afternoon also coincided with the women's country week at Hilton. This meant that the men were “relegated” to A green which had to be quickly improved in standard. Some bowlers may never have played on it before.
However, it was great to see all three greens at Hilton fully occupied, all the parking bays filled and tables set up in both the bar and hall. Extra mats and jacks had to be dragged out of hidden corners of store rooms - and we were ready to go.
After some early head-butting, we looked to have the game against Safety Bay in the bag by the half-way stage when both Barney Young's rink and Ian Blanch's rink had secured 10 shot leads. However, from 21-11 up, Barney's rink went off the boil and bowls for more shots turned into drives to try to cut the damage. Going into the last end saw the score reversed to 24-21 in Safety Bay's favour but Hilton came good with three shot for a 24-24 tie.
While this was happening, Ian Blanch had extended his lead to a match-winning 13 shots so the fact that Les Onley's rink went down by one shot in a hard-fought game didn't matter too much. We were in the final, winning 70-58.
Selectors made one change for the next week with Brian Smith coming in for Mike Kendall. So, on a cool and windy afternoon and back on a regular green, Hilton played third-placed Manning for promotion to Division Three.
Again, as expected, the early ends were tight before Ian Blanch's rink scored a five and got the first real break. It was a lead they never lost, eventually winning by eight shots. Barney Young's rink went into the last end level and scored three shots for a good win while Les Onley's rink also pulled away at the end to win by four shots.
A 15-shot win, promotion and a record of 15 wins and 5 losses for the season.
As in any game, it is hard to pick the best moments over 21 ends. Was it great leads from Rod Butler, perfect shot bowls from Steve O'Reilly, Jim Jobey's fine pick up and carry into the ditch or excellent finishing from skips Les Onley, Ian Blanch and Barney Young?
It may have been just two days as opposed to four days for the men, but women's country week at Hilton Park needed just as much organization and preparation. So, once more, a big thanks to everyone who gave up their time. The bowlers seemed to enjoy themselves both on and off the park so it all helps to enhance the reputation of Hilton Park.
There was a great turn-out for the annual wind-up at the clubhouse when Mike Glynn, a newcomer to the club, narrowly won the Bowler of the Year Award.