East Coast Challenge (ECC): Southeast defeats Northeast 37-25.
The two East coast divisions in Bowls USA went head to head Oct 21-22 in Pinehurst NC in a battle involving 15 lawn bowlers from each division. The ECC has been played annually since 2000 with two cancellations. Prior to 2017, the Southeast held a slim 8-7 margin over the Northeast, but Northeast had closed the gap by winning the two previous meetings.
As for the format, imagine a lawn bowls Ryder Cup with 15 bowlers from each team evenly divided into three squads who compete against their counterparts in a variety of disciplines. Day one featured squad members playing pairs or triples, with Southeast winning 12 of the 16 matches and taking a 24-12 lead. On day two that featured singles and fours, the Northeast dug deep and played even up in the morning but couldn’t close the gap in the day’s second round as Southeast held firm to come within a point of winning the trophy entering the final six matches. Needing only one win or a tie, Southeast wrapped up the tournament with a win in singles at which point the other five matches were conceded. Final score Southeast 37-Northeast 25.
A big thank you goes to the Pinehurst Lawn Bowling Club for hosting this event and to Jackie Tucker for her organization and heading up a team of willing and able volunteers. It was also very pleasant to have lunches served overlooking the famous Pinehurst Course No. 2 that has hosted several major golf tournaments.