Joel Hilliard is the new Club Champion at Tuross Head Bowling Club after a magnificent performance in the final with defending Champion Noel Downie. Joel is currently the youngest member of the Club and has become the youngest ever Club Champion!

The final was a very high standard match with both players putting on a great display of precision draw bowling and judicious on shots in less than favourable conditions. A cool, strong wind made the conditions difficult. Downie started confidently and held the upper hand for the first half of the match. After 17 very tight ends Downie held a 15 – 8 advantage. At this stage Hilliard made some clever strategic changes to his approach which saw him win the next 8 ends and move to a 22 – 15 lead.

Downie struck back to trail 22 – 18 before Hilliard again asserted his position and looked home when he moved to a shot from victory at 30 – 20. However, Downie was able to rekindle his chances when he grabbed four shots on the next end. On the next end Downie looked likely to move even closer before Hilliard was able to finish the match with a superb final bowl that gave him the shot he needed for a 31 – 24 victory.

The closeness of the struggle is shown by the fact that 21 of the 35 ends played resulted in a one shot result. Only 5 ends had a score of more that two shots. Hilliard thoroughly deserved his victory which was based on his ability to control his weight regardless of the length of an end. He really concentrated on the task and was prepared to change his tactics when needed. Downie also played very well but found Hilliard’s consistency too good on the day. It really was both a battle of the ages and a battle for the ages!! Congratulations Joel!