NATIONAL and state representative bowlers will be among the hundreds rolling their chances along the Tamworth greens this weekend in the Bowls NSW Inter-Zone Sides Championships.
The championships are regarded as the pinnacle of zone representative bowls and will involve 250 of the state’s best bowlers.
They’ll be representing 16 different zones stretching the width and breadth of the state.
The local interest will be in the zone 3 side which includes bowlers from Wee Waa, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Armidale and Inverell.
Several of the players made their way to Tamworth yesterday including zone 14 representatives Colin Baldwin, Ken Paulsen, Tony Miller and Paul Paterson.
The zone encompasses the Northern Coast section of the state from North Haven to Woolgoolga.
Baldwin, Paulsen and Paterson are all from the Port Macquarie-based Westport club while Miller hails from North Haven.
Between them, the two clubs account for nine of the 16 players.
Baldwin and Paulsen will both lead out their respective teams while Miller will bowl second and Paterson third in team four.
All four are long-time zone players.
Last year they came close to making it through the sectional play.
“We got beaten by a shot to make the play-offs,” Baldwin said.
They’re hoping to go at least one better this year and are optimistic they can with the side they have.
“It’s a younger side this year,” Paulsen said.
They’ve also picked up the services of ex-state player Peter Stockman.
“He’ll strengthen the side,” Paulsen said.
Last year he played with zone 10.
He’ll skip the team that Miller and Paterson are playing in.
Cory Daley and Shane Globits will be another couple of their key players.
Baldwin and Miller have both played in Tamworth before.
Baldwin competed in the senior state inter-zone championships a few years ago.
Miller played quite a few years before that.
“I last played here 30 years ago. I came up for the City of Light in 1983,” he said.
They have been drawn in a section with zone 13 (Sydney South), zone 4 (Mid-Western) and zone 8 (South West).
Zone 3 have zone 6 (Hunter Manning), zone 10 (Sydney North West) and zone 12 (Sydney South West) in their section.
It’s the first time Tamworth has hosted the championships since 1996 and will see games played at Tamworth City, South Tamworth, Kootingal and West Tamworth commencing at 1pm today.