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Bowls In Focus : March April 2010
22 Bowls In Focus Former international Barrie Lester equalled the TRUenergy Singles Classic winning record last month when he clinched his third title from four successive final appearances at Yallourn Bowls Club. The Moonee Ponds skipper got an early jump on the tournament's inaugural winner, Neville Brown from Yarraville Footscray, and stormed home to a 25-10 final win in the $20,000 tournament. "I'm really overwhelmed, reaching the final four years in a row is great although the loss two years ago was not the best feeling, so to just to be up there again this time was great," Lester said at the presentations. His third win, after previous victories in 2007 and 2009, equals the accomplishments of former New Zealand international Brian Baldwin, from Musgrave Hill in Queensland. Lester beat dual state junior singles champion Aaron Wilson from Essendon 25-24 in a thrilling semi to advance to the final, while Brown claimed an easy 25-15 win over world number one Safuan Said from Malaysia. "I knew Neville's confidence would have to be up," continued Lester, "he'd just beaten the world number one and I knew that he'd come out knowing that he can play well enough tobeatme, soIhadtohavemy'A' game on or I was in trouble." With a huge crowd watching, Les- ter jumped out of the blocks, taking an early 6-0 lead, and continued the dominance as the scoreboard ticked to 23-4 before Brown mounted a late comeback. The diminutive Bulldog, who actu- ally lives in Drouin, just a short drive from Yallourn, managed six more shots before Lester ended the match, 25-10. Lester, who partnered Queen- slander Nathan Rice to the 2006 Commonwealth Games pairs bronze medal in Melbourne, appears to be out of favour with the national selec- tion panel, although he is still playing great bowls for Victoria at interstate level. "I haven't been taking my bowls all that seriously over the past 12 months, but this is a great start to the year and anything that reminds the selectors I'm still around is good," he concluded. Yallourn president Jim Cuthbert- son said this 13th annual classic had exceeded the club's expectations. "It was some of the best bowling we've ever had, and to have the number one ranked player in the game here has been brilliant," he added. The previous day's quarter finals were sensational with a big crowd remaining past six o'clock when Said and local Paul Twyerould were involved in a nail biting tie, each seeming to be in a winning position over the final ends. Young Wilson and Richmond Union star Neville Rodda were playing a similar match on the other side of the green, giving fans two matches worthy of a final to enjoy, before Wilson went away late in the game to win 25-17. Likewise, Brown found another local Trafalgar's Ken Capper a tenacious opponent who remained within striking distance of him throughout their quarter final, while in the remaining match Lester made short work of Clayton's Tony Wood. The drawcard, Said from Malaysia, earlier thrilled the crowd with match- es against Russell Whitelaw from Yinnar and Moe's John Wasiukiewic as the locals tried very hard to upset the world number one. - Michael Holroyd TRUenergy Singles Classic at Yallourn Bowls Club Round of 16: B Lester (Moonee Ponds) d A Mathison (Essen- don) 25-17, T Wood (Clayton) d G Matheson (Altona) 25-24, N Rodda (Richmond Union) d T Bain (Lalor) 25-19, A Wilson (Es- sendon) d M Brunato (Moonee Ponds) 25-13, K Capper (Trafalgar) d G Barker (Mitcham) 25-20, N Brown (Yarraville Footscray) d B Manly (Clayton) 25-19, S Said (Malaysia) d R Whitelaw (Yinnar) 25-22, P Twyerould (Morwell Club) d T Shannon (Brighton) 25-21. Quarter finals: Lester d Wood 25-3, Wilson d Rodda 25-17, Brown d Capper 25-19, Said d Twyerould 25-23. Semi finals: Brown d Said 25- 23, Lester d Wilson 25-24. Final: Barrie Lester (Moonee Ponds) d Neville Brown (Yar- raville Footscray) 25-10. rrie Lester on route to his urn singles title. naugural winner Neville de it into the 13th Classic 739 CENTRE ROAD BENTLEIGH EAST 3165 Ph/ Fax 9579-4440 www.baysidejackhighbowls.com.au BAYSIDE JACK HIGH BOWLS many items to clear, plenty of specials, shoes, clothing and more END OF SEASON SALE END OF SEASON SALE Barrie makes it three out of four
Bowls In Focus May 2010