Pennant season set for earlier start to beat heat

THE Albury and District Bowling Association will change its pennant format for the coming season and start before Christmas.

It has been brought about by games being cancelled in January this year by heat.

In recent seasons, the association has had a 10-week competition with finals in late March or early April.

But the district’s match committee decided to come up with alternatives to avoid hot weather in January.

It sent a proposal to clubs suggesting four games in November and early December with a break until February for another six rounds to be played.

The first round will be played on November 8 with two more games before the annual Holbrook tournament on November 29-30.

There is a fourth round on December 6 and a break until February 5 next year.

The last round is scheduled for March 14 with a catch-up round on March 21 in case any games have been cancelled through heat or wet weather.

Semi-finals and finals in the respective grades will be played on March 28 and 29.

There was considerable discussion on the match committee’s proposal at the district’s annual meeting held at Culcairn on Sunday.

Walla, Oaklands, Urana, Henty and Rand all supported the present format of a 10-week season after Christmas.

But they were outvoted by Culcairn, Holbrook, North Albury, Commercial Club, Lavington Panthers and Howlong.

The association’s new president is Jeff Brundell (Howlong), who takes over from North Albury’s Noel Trainor.

The vice-president is Mike Hodgess (Lavington Panthers) and board members are Eric Cossor, Graeme Maddox (Commercial Club) and Slawko Kitt (Lavington Panthers).

The match committee members are Clarrie Klepiak (Lavington Panthers), Feargal o’Hearcain (Walla) and Gerald O’Brien (North Albury).

But they have the power to get assistance from other club representatives if needed.

Hodgess is the umpiring and coaching co-ordinator and John Allitt (Culcairn) is in charge of juniors.

Delegates voted to increase affiliation fees by $5 for the coming season to $30.

The last fee rise was a similar amount in 2011.

Affiliation to Bowls NSW has increased from $43 to $46 for the coming season.