Leeton & District
Gus Laruffa has taken out the 2019 Leeton and District Major Singles Championship - the blue-ribbon event of the club.
In a classic Saturday afternoon match that went right to the wire, he overcame a tenacious Tim Barnes, 31 to 26, to claim the title.
In a career that has spanned over four decades, the 2019 title brought the total amount of Major Singles Championships won by Laruffa to 10, with his first victory back in 1984.
What makes the win even more special is the fact that Laruffa underwent a complete knee replacement in January of this year and was out of action for a long period of time.
For Barnes, the defeat was a bitter disappointment after previously losing the decider in 2012 and 2013.
After a nervous start, he found himself down by 10 shots to 2 and it seemed that Laruffa would run away with the match.
Barnes, however, had different ideas and clawed his way back into the contest and after 22 ends the score was locked at 16 all.
The lead changed hands several times as both players wrestled with the tricky conditions.
The small but ebullient crowd was kept enthralled as both players called on their full repertoire of shots in an effort to gain the winning edge.
Neither player was able to put the other away and after a marathon 35 ends only one shot separated the two.
Laruffa inched ahead to lead 30 to 26, but Barnes refused to give in, and was holding 3 shots on the 38th end and the game looked like heading to a classic final end showdown.
Laruffa however, called on every reserve of energy and experience and in a marvellous finale he drew to the jack presenting himself with a winning lead with only one bowl remaining for Barnes.
With tension running high, Barnes drove at Laruffa's winning bowl but narrowly missed, bringing the 2019 Championship to a dramatic end.
After the game a humble Laruffa paid tribute to his opponent.
"This was the toughest match I have played for a while and full credit to Tim, he just wouldn't go away," he said.
A circumspect Barnes vowed to "fight on for another day" while praising Laruffa adding, "He's a wily old fox and while I had my chances, Gus was just too good on the day".
Leeton Soldiers Indoor Bowls
Social bowls was played at the club last week.
The winners on the night in the top division were Lyn O'Connell and Peter Clayton who were the victors over Sam Fuimara and Sam Papasidero.
While in bottom division, Sue Johnson and Mick O'Connell defeated Gary Green and Lena Papasidero.
Bowlers had a change on the night.
All skips were leads and all leads were skips.