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Bowls In Focus : March April 2010
24 Bowls In Focus Victoria's senior and junior ladies teams surrendered two of their long-held silver chalices at the Gee- long West Bowls Club last month. In a thrilling climax the senior side lost the deciding third test against the ravenous Tasmanian Tigers in a nail-biting finish, after scores were tied with sixty-two of the scheduled sixty-three ends completed. Last rink on the green, skipper Gayle Edwards, Brooke Edwards and Carla Odgers from Keilor along with Glenroy's Nicole Shortis, had led the Tasmanian quartet skipped by experi- enced Gaylene Elsworthy all day, but was in trouble at three down on the head when the skippers crossed over. A mighty drive by Gayle Edwards sunk the jack in the ditch, but the Vics were still one down to a Tasmanian bowl sitting about 60cm away. To the naked eye it looked vulner- able until Elsworthy drew a magnifi- cent second shot near the plinth for her state. Then pandemonium broke out as the final bowl from Gayle Edwards missed its mark; signifying the Tasmanians had won a test series against Victoria for the first time since the states initially competed back in 1963. It had been one of the longest unbeaten streaks by one state over another in history, although it should be noted that the teams actually tied on the last occasion this annual series was played on Victorian soil, at Bundoora in 2008. Ironically, the Vics held a comfort- able 13-shot lead after 40 ends of the third test, but the plucky Tigers stuck to their task and finished all over the hosts. At the outset, when Tasmania's top skipper Rebecca Quail was forced to withdraw through illness after a handful of ends, the possibility of this historic result would have seemed a pipedream. But as someone once said: 'Winners turn setbacks into stepping stones', and it was the Tigers who took the big steps on this occasion. The combination of Clayton's Joyce Lindores skipping Anna Hoogwerf from Essendon, Glenroy's Jennifer Salmon and debutante Joanne Blake from Buckley Park was Victoria's best-performed rink of the series, winning the final day's encounter by five shots, while Re- becca McMahon from Colac City and her team of Clayton's Paula Wood, Robyn Thomassen from Grangeburn and newcomer Hayley Miller from Colac City went down to replacement skipper Mary Beaumont and her revamped Tasmanian rink by seven. The Edwards quartet finished with a draw. Our junior side was also forced to hand over a formerly unsullied trophy, the Bev Shannahan Shield, which they had coveted since it was first contested in 2007. They were well beaten in the first test but managed to draw the next two, losing the sec- ond by one shot on a countback. However, the inexperienced youngsters did claim the final rubber by five on a countback, thanks to a superb 11-shot win by Sunbury's Chloe Stewart in the singles, while the fours side of Glenroy's Melissa Cassar, Victoria Troster from Glen Waverley, Mooroopna Golf's Ebony Thatcher and Rebecca Allan from Phillip Island lost by six shots. The contest on the morning of day two was certain to be an engross- ing battle if the first day's play was any indicator. In the opening test the Tigers came out with fangs bared and ripped into the sluggish Vics from the very first bowl. At one stage, after a total of 34 ends had been completed, the Tasmanians led by 30 shots, al- though the Vics managed to halt the onslaught and reduce the margin to 23 by the time hostilities ceased. However, in the afternoon's second test it was a different Victorian side in action with the rink of Lindores, Hoogwerf, Salmon and Blake leading the reversal of fortunes by recording a 10-shot victory. Further across the green the Edwards girls along with Odgers and Shortis emerged from a titanic struggle to prevail by five, while the rink of McMahon, Wood, Thomassen and Miller - who collected successive counts of five midway through the match - recovered from their early deficit to record a seven-shot win. Our inexperienced junior side conceded the first test against their Tasmanian counterparts in straight sets, due mainly to the big win from the Apple Isle's top teenager Court- ney Hobbs, who won her singles encounter by 17. However, they drew the afternoon match, one rubber apiece, but lost out by one shot on a countback. - David Allen Victoria v Tasmania Test Series at Geelong West Bowls Club Seniors: First Test: Vic 42 lost to Tas 65 (J Lindores 14 R Quail 19, R McMahon 13 G Elsworthy 27, G Edwards 15 N Smith 19). Second Test: Vic 69 d Tas 48 (R McMahon 26 N Smith 19, G Ed- wards 19 R Quail 14, J Lindores 24 G Elsworthy 14). Third Test: Vic lost to Tas 54-56 (G Edwards 17 G Elsworthy 17, J Lindores 21 N Smith 16, R McMahon 16 M Beaumont 23). Tasmania won series 2-1 Juniors: First Test: Vic 0 lost to Tas 4 (C Stewart lost to C Hobbs 8-25; M Cassar, V Troster, E Thatcher, R Allan lost to M Baker, B Mabb, J Knight, K Daly 13-15). Second Test: Vic 2 lost to Tas 2 (+1) (C Stewart, E Thatcher lost to C Hobbs, B Mabb 15-21; M Cassar, V Troster, M Cassar d M Baker, J Knight, K Daly 17-12). Third Test: Vic 2 (+9) d Tas 2 (C Stewart d M Baker 25-14; M Cassar, V Troster, E Thatcher, R Allan lost to C Hobbs, B Mabb, J Knight, K Daly 18-23). Tasmania won series 2-1 • Top: Victoria's senior side went down to the much-improved Tasmanians in a thriller. • Above: Colac City southpaw Hayley Miller was one of two Victorian debutantes at Geelong West. • Below: Our gallant junior team performed admirably against their Apple Island counterparts. Tigers Raid State Trophy Cabinet
Bowls In Focus May 2010