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Bowls In Focus : November 2009
Bowls In Focus 41 Another bowls season has started but the guys and girls of the Kelly Gang have been working hard. We have picked up four new members; Drew Hiskins from Rutherglen along with Benalla's Dylan Pope and the Mannix brothers James and Aaron. During the off-season a couple of our boys Josh Rudd and Jason King teamed with Adam Hickey (who does not play bowls), to win the State Schools title against state junior representative Dylan Fisher and his team from Mt Eliza. Training sessions have just started with a new format, but with club, association and state commitments, attendances have been low. Congratulations must go to Josh Rudd for making the Victoria Junior State Squad; Thomas Webb for making the NSW Academy for Lawn Bowls, and for also winning the state triples for west association in the Ovens & Murray; and to Jordan Thornton on winning the Corowa club's setsplay singles. Well done to all. Youth and exuberance certainly showed out when the Murray Kraze Junior Development Squad recently held its Squad Singles at Numurkah Bowls Club. With players from Tallygaroopna, Tocumwal, Cobram and Wunghnu, the veteran of the field was 16-year-old Heath Smith from Cobram, who was the previous year's winner. The concept of the day was setsplay, with each game consisting of two sets of nine ends, with a 3-end play off if a tie remained after the first two sets. Each player would play three games, with the winner decided by games won. Tocumwal's 12-year-old Cain Hanley walked from the green with three wins, his only blemish being a tied set with Smith. Similarly, Curtis Hanley, the 10-year-old younger brother of Cain, and also from Tocumwal, won all three of his games, and coincidently played Smith in the final game where they tied the second set. This created a three-end play-off between the siblings, for bragging rites. Curtis took the first end with a single, while Cain replied with the same score on the second. The deciding final end of the play-off saw Cain hold two shots, with Curtis having one remaining bowl, and when Curtis' bowl came to rest, neither he, Cain or Heath Smith, who was marking, were sure of the situation. So Cain was forced to play his last bowl, and with a beautifully weighted forehand he rested his younger brother's bowl, turning it out and claimed victory. The Murray Kraze will be conducting their Pairs Tournament in December, but the brother won't be joining forces. More bragging rites up for grabs - and headaches for Mum! The Murray Valley Mavericks have commenced the season strongly with some new bowlers putting their feet in to test the water - to find that they had a good time and they could actually bowl. Three rounds of the local competition are now completed showing that some of the old guns have younger guns nipping at their heels. The last round was held over the border at Balranald. Great to see 10-year-old Amelia Bruggy has attended two VLBA Under-18 squad days down south and has come back a different person. It is fair to say that socialising and bowling with some of the country's best juniors opens the eyes to what can be achieved. This is not only with respect to their ability to bowl, but mentoring these young adults to better people in all aspects of their lives. This program can only be described as fantastic, and it would be great to see more girls attend. The next VLBA squad day one is on 22 November at Darebin. It is terrific that some of our older juniors are taking the year off to study for their VCE exams. Johanna Bennett is one of these juniors and no doubt she will be back on the greens soon. Good luck with the studies Jo. If you are going to stay away from bowls, you had better stay away from the boys too (only kidding). The Sharks have just participated in their first away challenge at Dromana Bowling Club, which was an extra early start with our road trip as the event took place on the morning 'daylight saving' commenced. With a full busload of players and supporters we were an anxious lot, but once on the green the kids relaxed and had a great day of bowling against the Pythons and Dolphins squads. Sincere congratulations to Rebecca Allan for her selection in the Victorian Under-18 side that played at Halekulani NSW in the Australian Championships. Also, on behalf of the gang, a big welcome to Tyson 22 November and Inverloch on 20 December, while our next inter-squad challenge is against the Mid Gippsland GR8Z at Leongatha on 24 January 2010. We have hit the greens running for season 2009- 2010, having already had three activity days with an average of 15 juniors attending. Our activity days are held at least once a month, on Sunday mornings from 10.10am to 12 noon, at the various clubs that make their facilities available to us, and provide the young Warriors with something to eat and drink afterwards. The sessions start with about 15-minutes of discussion on various subjects, such as how to respect your opponents and club greens and equipment; also etiquette both on and off the green; plus learning the rules of lawn bowls. As well as the activity coaching days, we have days planned to play against the following squads; Dolphins and Stingrays at Elsternwick; Rangers at Williamstown; Giants at Geelong; and Cougars at Hoppers; and it is hoped that we can arrange games against the Northern Flyers and also the Blind Bowlers. We congratulate Dane McKinnon, who was one of five junior boys selected in the Under-18 state side, for the recent Australian Championships at the Halekulani Bowls Club at Budgewoi, on the Central NSW Coast. Dane played lead in the fours combination that won the gold medal. We also congratulate Jay-Bye Norris and Chris Watt, along with Dane, on being selected in a 30-player State Junior Development Squad. From this group juniors will be selected to play against Tasmania, ACT and SA, and also in a four-state round robin against SA, WA and NSW. So fingers crossed that they all might earn a state shirt for one of these fixtures. • Kraze members Cain Hanley, Heath Smith and Curtis Hanley during the big event. • New Shark Tyson Davis from Corinella at the Dromana challenge.