Mairangi Bay bowlers reckon that they may have witnessed the shot of the decade when their men’s championship pairs were held at the weekend.
The momentous event occurred in the qualifying rounds when four of the club’s stalwart players met, with Ian Coombe and Ric Lydford in one team pitted against Leon Wech and Phil Chisholm in the other.
Coming to the last end, Coombe and Lydford were five down. After Lydford and his rival lead Chisholm had each played their three bowls there were five bowls all well spread around the jack. Three belonged to Chisholm, the other two to Lydford.
A mid-rink conference then followed between Coombe and Lydford, with the latter urging his skip: “We need a five so let’s clear the opposition from the head. OK. Go for it.”
Down came one of Coombe’s trademark thundering drives scattering bowls in all directions, but leaving only Lydford’s two on the head.
Among the goodly crowd of spectators there was a sudden hush. They knew they had just seen the event of the season. And as the shot had been nominated and duly delivered to perfection all agreed it had to be reckoned the shot of the decade.
Alas, there was no fairy tale ending. Wech calmly delivered his last two bowls onto the jack and so won the match. But there was some consolation for Coombe and Lydford. It was their only loss and like Wech and Chisholm they made it through to post-section.
That was postponed because of Sunday’s downpours, but whoever of Mairangi’s many talented bowlers wins the championship title, this tournament will always be remembered in the club’s folklore for Lydford’s call and Coombe’s obliging with the shot of the decade.