The Albany Bowling Club completed a stellar season of competition on Sunday 17 June, when they won took home both the East Areas Men’s First and Second league titles. This was the second year in a row that Albany had won the Second League title, and the third year in a row that they had taken home first place in the First League.
The Second team went into the final round of the competition having already secured their place atop the table, however still went into the last fixture in Grahamstown looking to extend their lead. They did just that, with both the A and B sides winning their rounds, resulting in the Albany side keeping the Second League trophy in Grahamstown. The Second league final standings saw Albany in first with 43, the Kowie Bowling Club in second with 34, Port Alfred just behind them with 32, and Kenton Bowling Club in last with only 13.
The First League was a much more hotly contested affair, with three teams capable of taking home first place going into the final two rounds. The top four teams would face off in Grahamstown in the final weekend, with Kowie taking on Albany and Port Alfred playing Grahamstown, Kenton had the last bye.
Despite their B side losing their match in the final round, the Albany Men’s A side won their match by more points than the B side lost by, and therefore managed to maintain their lead over the competition. They finished the day on top of the table, and completed their third consecutive title defence. The overall competition standings ended with Albany Bowling Club in first with 28, Port Alfred Bowling Club in second with 23, and Kowie Bowling Club coming third with 21. Grahamstown Bowling Club ended in fourth on 18, while Kenton finished last on 10.
This capped off a great season for the Albany Club, which had already seen Gwen Bartlett be selected for the Eastern Province Ladies Open B-side. Bartlett’s EP side finished in second at the annual Inter-Regionals held in Johannesburg between 12 and 16 March earlier this year. Bartlett’s son, Juan Pretorius, was also selected for the EP Under 30 B-Side, which will travel to Kwa-Zulu Natal in September to partake in the Under 30 Inter-Regional Tournament.