After winning the past five Australian Services Bowls Association championships, Navy could not make it six in a row after being defeated in the 2016 final by the Air Force at Windsor Bowls Club, New South Wales.
Navy made a solid start to their title defence against the Army winning on two out of four rinks and having a higher aggregate shot margin.
In the final, Air Force were determined to put an end to Navy’s dominance and made a dream start, with a 34 shot lead at half way. Although the Navy team managed to claw back a few shots they ended up losing 87-68.
Bowls Association President, Chief Petty Officer Electronics Technician Phil Black, said a number of key Navy bowlers were unable to attend due to operational commitments but acknowledged the Air Force had recruited well.
“Navy have been the benchmark team in recent years but were simply outplayed in the final. After being the easybeats in years gone by, we were aiming for a decade on the trot, however it wasn’t to be,” Chief Petty Officer Black said.
“Win, lose or draw though the camaraderie across all three services was evident throughout the week with all matches played in true team spirit."
The standout performances for Navy were from Petty Officer Marine Technician Stephen Patterson (Best Performed Skipper) and Able Seaman Radio Operator Anita Jenkins (Best Performed Second and Female Player of the Series).
Earlier in the week in the lead up to the main event, there was a Combined Services state round robin, which for the first time, was won by Western Australia. In a thrilling final game which came down to the very last bowl, Western Australia edged out Queensland by half a point on countback to take the honours.
The week culminated in a Presentation Night and Dinner for the announcement of the national squad.
In attendance to congratulate those selected were Australian Services Bowls Association Honorary Patron, Mr Steve Glasson, who is the current Australian National Coach, and former world number one and Airforce Bowls Association Patron, Air Commodore Richard Lennon.
A total of 10 Navy bowlers were named: Chief Petty Officer Electronics Technician Phil Black, Chief Petty Officer Electronics Technician Murray Piggott, Petty Officer Marine Technician Stephen Patterson, Able Seaman Radio Operator Anita Jenkins, Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator Kaitlin Shaw, Chief Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Support Operations Noleen Brennan, Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Greg McClelland, Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Steven Adams, Petty Officer Electronics Technician Mark Wallace and Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Jason Wilson.