MacNaughton side wins SeaSoil lawn bowling tourney

Local skip Stu MacNaughton and his teammates brought their A Game to the SeaSoil Classic. - James Clarke
Local skip Stu MacNaughton and his teammates brought their A Game to the SeaSoil Classic.
— image credit: James Clarke

Being one of the favourites didn’t amount to much at this year’s SeaSoil Classic Men’s Lawn Bowling Tournament, which saw two local teams play spoilers as they won the A and B event finals.

“They’re out for revenge this year,” defending tournament champ, PLBC coach, and soon-to-be Bowls Canada president Gary Robinson panned Saturday afternoon — his team was sitting 0-3.

One of the bigger tournaments on the calendar at the Parksville Lawn Bowling Club, this year’s event saw an all-local B event final in which the Parksville team of Art Ferguson, Wayne Edwards and Gil Simpson, completed a weekend of outstanding performances with a narrow 11-10 win over the John Wilson team from Qualicum Beach.

The A event saw last year’s two finalists — Robinson and Hirendra Bhartu, who won the Classic two years ago — pushed aside after round-robin play.

Sunday’s A final produced a matchup of last year’s B-event winners, the Parksville team of Stu MacNaughton, Jim Muir and Oliver Fabris, against Vern Greenhill and Archie Harris of Courtenay, joined by Keith McMann of Nanaimo. In that game, the MacNaughton threesome “showed they were worthy of the championship” with a convincing 23-7 victory.

There were 18 teams in this, the fifth annual SeaSoil Classic — four teams played off in the A division final, and eight in the B.

“The competition was fabulous and the playing surface great,” said Robinson, adding, “most of the players in the club are not used of seeing play at that level — it was pretty intense”

No stranger to the game, Robinson, who skipped the first local team to win the ‘Classic last year, takes over the role of president for Bowls Canada in August after three years as vice-president.

Notables in the mix at this year’s SeaSoil were national team players Steve Santana and Tim Mason, both based out of the Lower Mainland. At 28 and 32 respectively, Santana, an accountant, and Mason, in media relations, are clearly the face of the future of the sport, but on this day the savvy play of experience won out as they were knocked out in a close one in the semifinal by MacNaughton and his gang.

Steve’s dad German from Vancouver, a regular SeaSoil competitor, was on another team, and he was also eliminated in the semifinal.

Santana will be on Team Canada in Cypress in October for the Atlantic Rim Lawn Bowling Championships, an annual international event for countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

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