Balanced teams give Batavia good chance for flag at Northern Zone men’s round robin competition at Denison

Joe CriddleGeraldton Guardian
Joel Leeson competes at the 2020 Northern Zone Inter League Round Robin.
Camera IconJoel Leeson competes at the 2020 Northern Zone Inter League Round Robin. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography/Supplied

The annual Northern Zone Inter League Round Robin bowls series starts this weekend at Denison Bowling Club, and the Batavia Bowling League has a strong chance of winning the zone title on home turf.

The event has attracted record nominations, and nominations from the local area are the healthiest they have been in recent years.

The competition for places has meant some in-form players miss the cut, but overall competition should be very strong.

Batavia has remained very competitive since introducing a White team alongside the original Red side 12 years back.

The Reds have won seven titles, with White claiming one.

The lowest finish for either squad has been fourth.

The Denison club will showcase its recently installed synthetic playing surface, with all rinks expected to run around the 14-second range.

With the surface similar to those the Central Midlands, North Midlands, Central West Coastal and Moore districts play on, the familiar conditions should make competition fierce.

Both Batavia squads look well balanced. History shows this has been a successful recipe for past league sides. Among the bowlers confirmed so far, the talented Joel Leeson will skip for Red. Kevin Robartson, Jon Trotter and Mike Ford have also been selected.

The depth and experience on home soil should make our teams ultra competitive.

Central West Coastal look the likely major challengers.

Each league has claimed the tournament at least once over its five-decade history.

All six squads are well in contention this year, with the end result likely to come down to individual rink wins.

A 20-player Northern Inter League side will be selected after the competition to play a Round Robin series in early February against sides from the South West, Eastern Districts and Southern regions of WA on the slick grass greens of Busselton Bowling Club.

A Country All Stars side will be selected from that inter-zone event to play a metro side at Osborne Park in a night fixture ahead of the Country Week carnival.

The three-day round robin format usually produces hotly contested, high-quality matches.

The group of 96 of the most talented players north of the metro area should put up a strong challenge.

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