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Bowls In Focus : January 2010
26 Bowls In Focus The crack composite team of Richmond Union's Neville Rodda, Jess Thomas from Sebastopol and another Tiger Peter Williams emerged victorious in the inaugural Ray White Real Estate Summer Invitational at Somerville Bowls Club last month. In front of a large and bois- terous crowd they defeated the combination of Stan Sliwinski from Clayton, Somerville's Phil Rees and Ash Rowan from Clayton in the five-end grand final to claim the major share of the $5000 payload. Presented over two days between Christmas and New Year, the Invitational attracted a full house of well-credentialed triples, willing to stake their claim over the five 18-end qualifying rounds leading into the finals. From there the top four sorted out their pay queue positions in the five-end semi- final and main event shootouts. Rodda, Thomas and Wil- liams signified their intentions in the opening round when they blitzed the trio of Scott Guymer and Nigel Henderson from Somerville and Dro- mana's John Occhipinti by 35, before completing the first day undefeated and 54 shots-up. Only one other side, Brigh- ton's Todd Shannon, Giora Pomeranz and Graeme Spen- cer, finished day one with three wins, while two composite triples, Karingal's John Curtain, Mark Golby from Greenlees Park NSW and Wilson Golby from Hastings, along with Ringwood's David Bloom, Grant Mahoney from Fitzroy Victoria and Heathmont's Paul Bloom, sat near the top of the leaders board with two wins and a draw. However, the Bloom, Mahoney and Bloom combina- tion fell from contention on the morning of day two when they were beaten by the only 'all-girl' team in the field, Joyce Lin- dores, Mary-Anne Spizer and Lorraine Burke from Clayton. At the same time Sliwinski and Co, along with Somerville great Mike Stanley and team- mates Chris Hunt and Pauline Summerhayes, leapt into the frame with wins over rinks skipped by Frankston RSL's Gerry Phillips and Dromana's Josh McCormack respectively. Similarly, Curtain, Golby and Golby ensured their appear- ance in the finals with a strong eight-shot win over Shannon, Pomeranz and Spencer, which saw the Brighton trio slip from second to sixth in the pecking order. But it was dramatic stuff halfway through the fifth round as the final four was taking shape. The teams skipped by Rodda, Curtain and Sliwinski were safely coveted, but fourth position in the shootouts was decidedly unknown. Only three shots separated Shannon's Brighton trio and Stanley's locals at the outset and they were playing on adja- cent rinks. And when Stanley's rink homed 21-up against Anne Skipworth from City of Frankston's combo, Shannon needed to beat another City of Frankston team skipped by big Andy McQueen, by no fewer than 19 to claim a place in the finals. And he did just that, with the match going down to the final delivery. The much-awaited shootouts arrived, and it was in these exciting cameos that Neville Rodda demonstrated why he is being groomed for international selection. In the semi-final against the Brighton men he was three down on the head and in perilous position when he drew the absolute shot to claim victory. And in the main event, when staring a four shot swing in the face, Rodda again dobbed his final delivery on top of the jack to gain the ascendancy. He was all class. As was Somerville's first flirtation with big time bowls. This sensational Summer Invitational is here to stay. - David Allen Tigers Tops In Summer Shootout • Tournament director Mike Stanley with winners Neville Rodda, Jess Thomas and Peter Williams. 2009 Summer Invitational at Somerville Bowls Club Top 10 qualifiers: N Rodda (Richmond Union), J Thomas (Sebastopol), P Williams (Richmond Union) 9 points +65 shots; J Curtain (Karingal), M Golby (Greenlees Park NSW), W Golby (Hastings) 9 +41; S Sliwinski (Clayton), P Rees (Somerville), A Rowan (Clayton) 8 +46; T Shannon, G Pomeranz, G Spencer (Brighton) 8 +33; M Stanley, C Hunt, P Summerhayes (Somerville) 8 +32; N Brown (Yarraville Footscray), J Edwards (Berwick), A Thompson (Berwick) 6 +55; R Travica, B Thomas, J Boyd (Cranbourne) 6 +12; J Tootell, L Piper, P Nicholls (Somerville) 6 +10; J Lindores, M Spizer, L Burke (Clayton) 6 +8; B Franklin, G Brown, I Brown (Rosebud) 6 -1. Semi finals: Sliwinski, Rees, Rowan d Curtain, M Golby, W Golby 6-0; Rodda, Thomas, Williams d Shannon, Pomeranz, Spencer 5-4. Final: Rodda, Thomas, Williams d Sliwinski, Rees, Rowan 6-1.