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Bowls In Focus : October 2009
22 Bowls In Focus In a vintage display former world fours champion Margaret Sumner turned back the clock when she powered her way to victory in the inaugural Bendigo Motels Association Pairs Classic at the Bendigo Bowls Club last month. In company with her faithful sidekick Pat Boyd from Warr nambool, the Terang legend came through the weekend’s six 12-end matches undefeated, amassing 59 shots-up along the way, to claim the lucrative first place purse. Sumner and Boyd were the only six-game winners at the Bendigo ven- ue, while the remainder of the split 52-team field competed at Golden Square, where ageless Glenda Holt and her Bendigo East clubmate Helen Clough were also the only pair to emerge unscathed. However, with an overall retur n of +48 shots, Holt and Clough had to be content with the none-too-shabby r unner-up prize. After the first day’s three rounds, five unbeaten teams headed the leader board, being Sumner and Boyd (+37), Holt and Clough (+26), Glenroy’s Sharon Whana and Judy Stainton (+24), Debbie Sherry and Trish Eastwood from Edithvale (+14), and the Hurstbridge duo of Liz Wig- more and Barbara Patterson on +10. Then, following two of the second day’s three rounds, only three com- binations remained in the race for six unblemished cards, being the even- tual winners and r unners-up, along with Whana and Stainton. However, the diminutive Glenroy combination struck a snag in the final r ubber when they came up against Bendigo Golf ’s Jean Cunningham and Carol Mc- Ewan, losing out in a tight encounter by a solitary shot. Officials were unable to separate the next two best-performed teams; Clayton’s Mary-Anne Spizer and Lorraine Rowley from Inglewood, along with Maureen Drennan and Liz Mercovich from Warr nambool, so the decision was made to name them as equal third place finishers. Spectators at Bendigo had a mar vellous opportunity to witness the evolution of Victorian bowls in round six when Sumner and Boyd, shooting for a first-up victory in this prestige event, took on prominent Keilor youngsters Carla and Kristy Odgers. Kristy, 20, is a for mer state junior skipper, while 18-year-old Carla, is the youngest member of the current Victorian senior team and already has more than 20 state representa- tions to her credit. However, on this occasion, it was the seasoned combi- nation from the state’s southwest that prevailed by a handful of shots. Over the previous weekend the men’s version of this new blue ribbon event, which is heavily backed by the Bendigo Motels Association and the City of Greater Bendigo, was pre- sented at the same two host clubs. And it was an all-the-way win to the Highton combination of Craig Hodges and Zane Lugg, who decimated the 84-team field over two exciting days of competition. In an amazing perfor mance, the Geelong-based pair ran roughshod over their opposition to finish 112 shots-up, only allowing one of their opponents to reach double figures, while they claimed three of their star ts by margins in excess of 20 shots and another by 18. Six teams completed the six 12- end matches undefeated, although the next best finishers, Warren Coyle and Rocky McGowan from Kilmore, were a staggering 53 shots in arrears to the winners. Three unbeaten teams claimed positive shot tallies in excess of 60, which in most circumstances would be good enough to claim the top prize, but not this time. These were Coyle and McGowan (+69), Dave Ryan and Rowan Sharp from North Balwyn (+64), and Mildura veterans Neville Hodgetts and Wayne Gardner on +63. - David Allen • Above: Former world champion Margaret Sumner turned back the clock in the new pairs classic at Bendigo. • Left: Glenda Holt from Bendigo East skipped the only other undefeated team in the Classic. Bendigo Motels Association Pairs Classic at Bendigo Bowls Club Ladies: 1st M Sumner (Terang), P Boyd (Warrnambool) 12 points +59 shots; 2nd G Holt, H Clough (Bendigo East) 12 +48; equal 3rd M Spizer (Clayton), L Rowley (Inglewood) 10 +38; equal 3rd M Drennan, L Mercovich (Warrnambool) 10 +38; 5th S Whana, J Stainton (Glenroy) 10 +35; 6th J Robertson, V Blackley (Warracknabeal) 10 +22. Men: 1st C Hodges, Z Lugg (Highton) 12 points +112 shots; 2nd W Coyle, R McGowan (Kilmore) 12 +69; 3rd D Ryan, R Sharp (Nth Balwyn) 12 +64; 4th N Hodgetts, W Gardner (Mildura) 12 +63; 5th Paul Nicholls, Peter Nicholls (Shepparton Park) 12 +30; 6th K Brennan, B Brennan (Rochester) 12 +28. • Above Left: Club president Lorna Rutter with ladies winners Pat Boyd and Margaret Sumner. • Above Right: Bendigo Motels Association executives Charles Loftus and Kevin Prime flank men’s winners Craig Hodges and Zane Lugg at the presentations. Stars Sparkle In Bendigo Classics
August September 2009