Former Australian representative and Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame member Sam Laguzza (Kahibah) is three victories away from becoming only the third bowler in the Newcastle District Bowling Association’s 119-year history to win the blue ribbon Newcastle District Major Singles Championship six times.
The only other bowlers to achieve this feat are Newcastle legends Charlie McNeill (Hamilton) nine-times titleholder between 1927 and 1956 and Dave Downie (Boolaroo/Newcastle City) six-times titleholder (1944-1959). Barry Salter (Waratah) won the championship five times (1971-1982), while Laguzza has enjoyed success five times between 1997 and 2011. Laguzza had four solid wins last weekend defeating Len Milson (Beresfield) 31-17 in Round 1, Keiron Lott (Kotara) 31-21 in Round 2, Daniel Collaros (Kahibah) 31-25 in Round 3 and Logan Brown (Windale/Gateshead) 31-24 in Round 4.
Laguzza meets Newcastle representative player Daniel Hill (Mayfield West) in the quarter-finals on Saturday week at Raymond Terrace. The only other previous winner still in contention, Ian Lean (Raymond Terrace), plays clubmate Shaun Richards. In the top half of the draw Brian Bateman (Soldiers Point) meets Eric Ryan (Raymond Terrace) and Tony Wicks (Raymond Terrace) faces Shane Evans (Raymond Terrace).
There is no play in the Major Singles Championship next weekend due to the Newcastle representative team playing a Quadrangular Series against Western NSW (Zone 5), South Sydney (Zone 12) and Central Sydney (Zone 13) at Charlestown Bowling Club. Newcastle selectors have made a number of positional changes, after a disappointing performance at Gulgong last month. Jarrod Duncan (Alder Park) has moved from second for Richard Girvan (Nelson Bay) to third for Lennon Scott (Raymond Terrace), Hadydn Bojkowski has been shifted from lead for Scott to second for Matt Baus (Raymond Terrace). Jason Stokes (Raymond Terrace) moves from second for Scott to second for Girvan. Daniel Hill (Mayfield West) and Warren Shipley (Beresfield) have reversed lead and second positions roles in Terry Antram’s (Soldiers Point) rink. Selectors are using the series as preparation for the State Inter-Zone Sides Championship to be played at Port Macquarie on September 9,10 and 11.
The association is doing the draw for the 57th annual Mattara Carnival to be played from August 14 to 26, with the two hosts clubs being Wallsend for the singles and Charlestown for the traditional carnival. To alleviate byes entries are still being accepted in the men’s open pairs, restricted singles, mixed pairs and men’s fours. Telephone: 4929 3441.