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Bowls In Focus : October 2009
Bowls In Focus 35 Are you looking for a friendly, active and progressive bowls club located in Melbourne’s northeastern suburbs? Then consider Diamond Creek Bowling Club With: 2 brand new synthetic greens Four RVBA pennant teams Three VLBA pennant teams An active social bowls calendar Night Bowls Barefoot bowls Modern amenities Check out our website at dcbc.org.au or contact the club on 0394381717 The Alfred Hospital and the Centre for Clinical Studies located in Prahran, Melbourne are conducting a Clinical trial to investigate the use of a Traditional Chinese Herbal medicine formula in Osteoarthritis You must be: - aged over 18 years - diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee And are interested in participating or would like more information please contact the Centre for Clinical Studies on 1800 243 733 or email email@example.com Eligible participants will receive financial reimbursement for their time and travel. This study has been approved by the Alfred Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee. Do YOU have Osteoarthritis? Recent news that the maestro would be flying to London before catching a train to Potters at Hopton On Sea in the New Year had me reaching for the latest JK Rowling hardback. Would he be soaring bareback on ‘Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback’ to the Old Dart before catching the shadowy ‘Hogwarts Express’ up north to see Harry, I pondered. All fantasy of course, but the reality that Brighton champion Geoff ‘Maestro’ Maskell is travelling to the UK for next year’s Potters Holidays World Indoor Bowls Championships, is a great fillip for the Victorian fraternity. Now, in a sport that can, at times, resemble boxing with its irritating glut of ‘world’ titles, this tournament is the undisputed world singles championship. It boasts the likes of Scotland’s Alex Marshall - without doubt the No.1 bowler in the game - Paul Foster and Darren Burnett; England’s Greg Harlow, Andy Thomson and Billy Jackson; and all of the sport’s finest professional players. These days many of the top pros decline the op- portunity to represent their countries in Commonwealth Games and World Bowls competitions every four years, reasoning that the preparation for, and compet- ing in these events takes up too much of their lives. They claim that although the medals might be nice mementos, there’s simply no money in it at the end of the day. But there’s serious dosh on offer at Potters each January, with more than $150,000 up for grabs on the World Bowls Tour’s famed portable rink. Plus, there’s the TV exposure, normally around seven million live viewers each day, which assists the stars in their pursuit of valuable endorsement contracts. This year marks a decade in which these champion- ships - there’s also men’s and mixed pairs cash on the line - have been hosted at the Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk. Previously the event has been conducted in huge British stadiums such as Preston’s Guild Hall, the scene of many titanic championship battles, and venue of Australia’s only triumph, when Queensland’s Ian Schuback won the singles title in 1992. Maskell will be the first Victorian to tread the boards at Potters, and he earned that right in the merciless Professional Bowlers Association of Australia qualifying process. After working his way through the 300-strong knock- out setsplay field, Maskell found himself in the final eight, from which two would be invited to Potters. And he did it the hard way, by eliminating a couple of hardened international journeymen, Steve Halmai from England and Ireland’s Jeremy Henry, at the Warilla indoor complex. Against Halmai, the 2002 Tweed Heads Golden Nugget winner, Maskell was down 0-8 in the first set and recovered to be 7-14, then won the second 10-7, before clinching the tiebreaker 2-0 . Similarly, in the decider against Henry, who won the 2000 World Bowls singles gold medal in South Africa, Maskell lead 6-0 in the first set, but went down 7-8, then powered to a comfortable 10-5 second set win. It was at this point that he broke through to become Vic- toria’s first-ever qualifier for the world indoor play-offs, with a series of heroic shots to claim the tiebreaker 2-1 . However, the popular Brighton bowls retailer will not be the first Victorian to play in a world indoor singles championship. In 1980 Moreland’s Jim Yates, who had outplayed a rampaging Rob Parrella to win the 1979 Australian singles crown in Launceston, was invited to compete in the championships at Coatbridge in Scotland. Unfortunately he came up against England’s leg- endary David Bryant in an early round and enjoyed the remainder of the championship as a spectator. Bryant went on to easily defeat Hong Kong’s Phillip Chok in the final to annexe the world indoor and outdoor titles in the same year. But Yates did make a successful return in 1987, when he partnered Schuback to victory in the world in- door pairs at Bournemouth on the English south coast. Maskell and young Queenslander Ben Twist were the two successful PBA qualifiers at Warilla, and they join world ‘Top 24’ ranked Australians Steve Glasson from Sydney, and Gold Coasters Kelvin Kerkow and Brett Wilkie, in the 48-player field at Potters. - David Allen • Above: Brighton’s Geoff Maskell, the first Victorian to qualify for a WBT World Indoor Singles Championship. • Left: The ‘maestro’ takes time out for some practice at the new Brighton indoor stadium. Maestro sets course for Potters
August September 2009