Kurri Kurri Cannons and the East Cessnock Comets have made strong starts to their Big Bowls Challenge.
The Cannons are undefeated but sit third in their group on 26 points behind East Maitland (35) and Nelson Bay (27).
The Comets are second in their hotly contested group on 29 points behind Maitland City (32) and Raymond Terrace (31.5).
East Cessnock have two wins including a bonus point win for a clean sweep against Alder Park.
Their only loss was a 4-11 result to Raymond Terrace, a perennial power team of Hunter and Newcastle lawn bowls. They also defeated Edgeworth 9-6.
Kurri Kurri inflicted East Maitland’s first loss of the season in round two with a last-end win by skipper Nathan Dawson.
Dawson’s victory turned a potential 6-9 loss into a 10-5 victory for the Cannons.
The Cannons will be hoping their solid start to the season will be rewarded with bigger winning margins in the next three rounds.
They started their next section of games on Tuesday night with an away game to bottom-placed Wallsend, who have only 3.5 points from the first three games.
That is followed with another away game on Thursday night against Soldiers Point who are fourth in the group, but have had mixed results including a 15-0 loss to East Maitland in the third round.
The Cannons then have a week’s break before facing Lambton Park in the start of reverse rounds on October 6.
The Comets are in probably the toughest section with Raymond Terrace, Maitland City Hunters and Kahibah Cobras all strong challengers for the two finals spots from their group.
East Cessnock had the tough trip to Kahibah on Tuesday night and host Maitland City on Thursday night in a crucial game for both team’s campaigns.
Maitland City have yet to lose and sit on top of their group and second overall in the competition.
The Hunters drew with Kahibah first up and had a narrow 8.5 to 6.5 win against Edgeworth before clean sweeping Alder Park for a bonus point 16-0 win.
The Comets have a week’s break after the Hunters game and will aim for a big win when they travel to Alder Park for their round six encounter on Friday, October 7.
Kurri Kurri’s group is looking like a three-way battle among the Cannons, Griffins and Nelson Bay for the two finals spots.
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