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Bowls In Focus : January 2011
4 Bowls In Focus Even a two-hour flight delay at Launceston Air- port after driving rains had closed Tullamarine failed to dampen the Victorian team’s euphoria following last month’s interstate blitz of the Apple Islanders. One patiently waiting senior official described the state’s domination over the three days of intense competition at the North Launceston Bowls Club as being somewhere between ‘mission ac- complished’ and ‘order being restored’. No doubt the latter referred to the reality that three of the four trophies played for annually between the states, and normally stationed in pride of place behind glass at Bowlers House, had spent the past year in the offices of Bowls Tasmania. Only the Stuart Jackman Shield for under-18 boys stayed on the mainland after the much- improved Tasmanians came, saw and conquered our men’s, women’s and under-18 girls sides on Victorian soil in their previous meetings. Last year at Clayton the men’s combination handed over the French Holbrook Shield for only the sixth time since its introduction in 1963, while save for a draw at Bundoora in 2008, the Tasma- nian women’s team claimed its first-ever VLBA Perpetual Trophy since 1963 at Geelong West. In a corresponding series at the same venue, our junior girls surrendered the Bev Shannahan Shield they had coveted since the inaugural challenge in 2005. However, when the players retired for lunch on day two, our men’s and women’s teams were in unassailable positions, with both leading their five-rubber contests 3-0, while the junior sides were well placed in their eclectic competitions. More Victorian joy followed at the close of play when the junior girls were also in an unbeatable po- sition to win their series, while the boys, who were two games clear of their Tasmanian counterparts with two matches to play, had successfully retained the Stuart Jackman Shield. It was a series laced with milestones, not with- standing Victoria’s clean sweep of the test matches and the state skipping debuts of Brett Dodd from Werribee RSL and Clayton’s Paula Wood. For the first time in state history two lady play- ers were presented with 100-game badges when Keilor’s Gayle Edwards received a retrospective award for her 129 representations prior to this series, while Robyn Thomassen from Grangeburn reached her ‘ton’ in the second test. Three men were also presented with achieve- ment badges, being Matty Flapper from Essendon, who joins a select group to have played 200 state games, while Bundoora RSL’s Adam Galloway and Peter Loe from Essendon also reached 100-game status. But perhaps the most hear t-warming presen- tation came on the morning of day three when deputy president Betty Collins OAM, standing in for president Graeme Hosken, had the pleasure of awarding junior star Dylan Fisher from Clayton, at the ripe old age of 16, with a special certificate for his history-making 100th state appearance. The Victorians signified their intentions from the outset when the men and women claimed first blood in the opening test. Prime mover for the men was the rink of Matty Flapper, Altona teammates Paul Dorgan and Brenton Coad, and Bendigo East’s Brad Holland, who carved out a 16-shot win. In her first outing as state skipper Paula Wood and her team of Brooke Edwards from Keilor, Es- sendon’s Anna Hoogwerf and Carla Odgers from Sunbury were also outstanding. It was two from two at the conclusion of the af- ternoon’s second round when Yarraville Footscray’s Wayne Roberts and his rink of Lee Schraner from Brighton, Bundoora RSL’s Nick McIntyre and Peter Loe lead the way with their 22-shot victory, while the women’s rink of Clayton’s Joyce Lindores, Sam Shannahan from Lara, Glenroy’s Jennifer Salmon and Kellie Bowles from Warrnambool powered to a 15-shot win to be best-performed. Heavy overnight rain deadened the North Launceston turf that had been flying on day one, but had no effect on the rampaging Vics, who were keen to wrap up the series in the third test before • Above: The Victorian men’s side retrieved the French Holbrook Shield at North Launceston last month. • Below: Our women’s team reclaimed the prized VLBA Perpetual Trophy in Tasmania during December. • Right: Boys team manager Doug Kneebone and deputy president Betty Collins OAM with 100-game junior Dylan Fisher. Clean Sweep In Tassie Big V’s