Three North Albury sides gave their all at last weekend's Zone 8 triples playoffs at Ariah Park.
Duane Crow, Andrew Hirst and Norm Honey bowed out in the semi-finals of the open event after they eliminated pre-tournament favourites Ricky Potter, Bruce Lack and Bill Robertson (Temora Bowling and Recreation), who were in their home district, with a convincing 29-9 win first up.
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Their run came to an end the following morning at the hands of the Batlow RSL side skipped by Jordan Dennis, 28-12, on a fast Ariah Park green.
The North Albury team started badly and trailed 13-1 and were never able to recover.
Fellow Hoppers Graeme Wake, Kevin Welllington and Bernie Mahlo were beaten in the senior triples opening round, 28-17, by the Temora side skipped Trevor Firman.
Narrendera's Ian Black claimed the title.
Meanwhile, the North Albury combination of Mark Mulcahy, Rob Unsworth and Wayne Price had a great tussle with the West Wyalong team skipped by Tony Parkes who eventually won the title.
The Hoppers were down 19-12, but fought back to 21-19 before the final end.
West Wyalong had a bowl sitting right beside the jack and Mulcahy was able to trail it towards his side's bowls 1.5 metres behind to try to win the game or force an extra end.
Unfortunately, the jack veered slightly and went towards one of the opposition bowls, giving them one shot and the match with Parkes not required to play his last bowl.
The clash against North Albury was West Wyalong's closest result as they went on to book a place in next year's state finals.
Ariah Park will host the Zone 8 fours playoffs this weekend.
Henty's Peter Forck, Gary Kern, Peter Campbell and Peter White face a side from Harden in the first round of the open event on Saturday.
North Albury's Ken Allen, Neville Wegner, Clarrie Klepiak and Garry Broad take on Cootamundra-Ex Services in the seniors, while Urana's Mike Hodgess, Mick Dunnett, Tony Cantwell and Ken Dunnett meet a team from Boorowa in the president's reserve fours.