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Bowls In Focus : January 2011
Bowls In Focus 19 It was a rollercoaster ride for Richmond Union’s Neville Rodda and Jane McMenaman last month when they came from behind to win the Victorian final of the AERF (Alcohol Education & Rehabilita- tion Foundation) National Mixed Pairs competition at Burden Park Bowls Club. After an inglorious first set against hot favourites Frank Tonn and Jan Morton from Cohuna, the young Tigers bared their fangs in the second to force a sudden death three-end tiebreaker in which they kept the country pair scoreless. After dropping the first nine-ender 3-10, the Richmond Union pair kept in contact to remain level at 3-3 after four ends of the second. However, from that point onwards the Tigers went on the attack winning four of the remaining five ends where they added seven shots to two for a comfortable 10-5 win. In a thrilling tiebreak sector, where the shot changed hands after almost every delivery, McMe- naman’s lead bowls held sway over Morton, who had been outstanding throughout the tournament, while Rodda was able to counter Tonn’s aggressive shotplay. Down 0-2 after two tiebreak ends, Tonn had an outside chance of making a three with his final delivery, however, his attempt at a match-winning conversion missed its mark and the tournament was decided. Sadly, it was another bridesmaid fin- ish for the Cohuna team who were also runners-up in the event last year. Earlier in the day Tonn and Morton cruised to a straight sets semi-final win over Garry and Claire Sanders from Yarrawonga & Border Golf, to take their place in the main event, having not dropped a set throughout the event. Similarly, Rodda and McMenaman demon- strated their class with a polished two sets to nil return against the crack Marysville pairing of Mark Simmons and Jenny Tirant in the corresponding eliminator. Tonn and Morton emerged as the pair to beat after a scintillating first day. In an ironic twist the Cohuna duo, who were runners-up in 2009, faced their nemesis from last year’s final, Rex and Betty Cozens from Horsham City in the first round and savoured sweet revenge with a straight sets victory. Then in the afternoon quarter finals they again raised the bar by easily outpointing Clayton’s Joyce Lindores and Nigel Cowdery to claim their spot in the final four. However, three other fine combinations seriously staked claims in the hunt to represent Victoria at this year’s national final, especially Garry and Claire Sanders from Yarrawonga & Border Golf. They had every reason to be pleased, following excellent wins over Moama’s highly rated Sandra and Kevin Connolly, then Benalla’s Brent O’Rourke and Julie Dosser, on the first day. The Border Golf couple echoed their stealth under fire in the afternoon quarter finals when they sat 5-9 down on the card going into the second set’s final end and crafted a excellent four to tie the set and claim victory. The third qualifier for the semi finals was Marysville’s Mark Simmons and Jenny Tirant, who answered all the questions put to them on the first day. After a fiercely contested tied first set against round one opponents John Bamford and Sharon Whana from Lancefield, the Marysville pair raced away to win the second comfor tably and a the quar ter final berth. There they encountered the competitive Caulfield Park team of Wayne Gale and Jackie Roth in a confrontation that required a tiebreaker to decide the outcome. However, three consecutive singles in the three-end play-off saw Simmons and Tirant claim the final spot in the semi finals. However, several greenside ‘experts’ touted the biggest threat to Tonn and Morton’s quest would come from Rodda and McMenaman, who also finished with two top results, defeating James and Sue Lane from Elsternwick Park in straight sets, then Mulgrave Country Club’s John Leitch, the 2002 RVBA state champion of champions, and Sandy Dunbar in a tiebreaker. Leitch and Dunbar had a memorable day on the Burden Park greens. In their opening match against Ivanhoe’s Sean Ingram and Anne Draffen, they were eclipsed 17-0 in the first set, yet recovered to win the second and the resultant tiebreaker. A renowned wisecracker, Leitch chuckled when explaining: “We decided on a similar strategy against Nev and Jane, being kept scoreless in the first set (13-0) then we rallied to win the second again. But our plans went astray in the tiebreaker. Never mind, it was a most enjoyable event.” The young Tigers will now represent Victoria in the national play-offs at Darebin City during the 2011 Australian Open Championships next month. - David Allen Victorian AERF Mixed Pairs Challenge at Burden Park Bowls Club Round of 16: Caulfield Park (W Gale, J Roth) d Somerville (P Nicholls, L Nicholls) 8-4 3-8 5-1, Marysville (M Simmons, J Tirant) d Lancefield (J Bamford, S Whana) 7-7 13-3, Mulgrave CC (J Leitch, S Dunbar) d Ivanhoe (S Ingram, A Draffen) 0-17 11-1 4 -1, Richmond Union (N Rodda, J McMenaman) d Elsternwick Park (J Lane, S Lane) 15-5 14 -4, Cohuna (F Tonn, J Morton) d Horsham City (R Cozens, B Cozens) 10-9 17-1, Clayton (J Lindores, N Cowdery) d Hastings (W Golby, C Golby) 10-6 11-11, Benalla (B O’Rourke, J Dosser) d Highton walkover, Yarrawonga & Border Golf (G Sanders, C Sanders) d Moama (S Connolly, K Connolly) 7-5 7-11 4 -3 . Quarter finals: Marysville d Caulfield Park 9-7 4-6 3 -0, Richmond Union d Mulgrave CC 13-0 5-12 5-2, Cohuna d Clayton 10-4 14 -4, Yarrawonga & Border Golf d Benalla 7-5 9-9 . Semi finals: Cohuna d Yarrawonga & Border Golf 11-4 8-6, Richmond Union d Marysville 11-7 11-6. Final: Neville Rodda, Jane McMenaman (Richmond Union) d Frank Tonn, Jan Morton (Cohuna) 3-10 10-5 3-0. • Above: Richmond Union’s Jane McMenaman performed brilliantly in the main event. • Below: Sponsor’s representative Roy Smith from Focal Promotions with winners Neville Rodda and Jane McMenaman. Tigers Pounce In State Final