Club rivalries went out the window as the spirit of friendship reigned supreme in the local bowls fraternity on Sunday.
Unable to stage its annual Open Triples little more than five weeks after its clubhouse was ravaged by fires, Willow Tree Bowls Club found a willing ally.
West Tamworth officials reached out to the embattled club with an offer to be the guest venue for the popular tournament.
And on Sunday, West’s Belmore St base staged a successful edition of the Open Triples.
Temperatures of more than 40 degrees ensured a quick day was a good day on the greens, with two rounds of 15 ends used to determine the winner.
West Tamworth Bowls Club chairman Bob Hennessey declared a great day was had by all.
“We had 22 teams which was fantastic, four of which came up from Willow Tree,” Hennessey said.
“There was one bowler from Dubbo, he was an ex-Willow Tree bowler and he made the trip especially to support the event.
“We had people from Gunnedah and Werris Creek, although it was somewhat disappointing we didn’t get a bit more support from the local clubs.”
Hennessey said Willow Tree officials, headed by president Peter Wilkinson, who also played in the tournament thanked West Tamworth for their assistance at a time of need.
“They were very appreciative of our club’s support,” he said.
“We know they’re doing it tough at the moment and just wanted to help out the best way we could.
“To be able to run two greens on the day with the number of teams we had in the Open Triples was just fantastic.”
The day doubled as a fundraiser for the Willow Tree Bowls Club, with Hennessey revealing more than $1600 was raised.
“Apart from a small amount of the entry fees for the barbeque lunch which was enjoyed by all at the end of play, we redirected the other funds to be re-donated to Willow Tree,” he said.
“We also staged a raffle that consisted of 10 prizes, so to raise $1600 in a day was great and Willow Tree was over the moon with that.”
Maybe a touch of local knowledge counted on the greens as West Tamworth teams filled the quinella.
Bob Cummins, Ron Barnett and Mick Shelton finished top of the pops ahead of West clubmates Glen Sharman, Andrew O’Neil and David Shorten.
In a great sign for the bowls scene, the event also featured some teenage players, including Zoe Stewart (West Tamworth) and Caleb Cameron (Gunnedah), who featured at the junior tournament held earlier in the month at the same venue.