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Bowls In Focus : January 2011
30 Bowls In Focus Well folks, here we are in 2011 and I’m told it’s traditional in January for a lot of media columnists to go out on a limb and reveal their New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve decided not to go there based on so many failed attempts over more years than I care to remember. Actually, there’s been so much positive feedback about my judgment of the game’s greats last month that I’ve decided to go one better and announce my first annual ‘Dougie Awards’ for 2010. The ‘Best-Performed Club’ Dougie goes to Clayton following an amazing year in which it won the RVBA Metropolitan Premier Division pennant along with the VLBA Tuesday pennant equivalent, and then annexed these victories by clinching the state championships in both competitions. At time of writing, the club is on track for a repeat performance in 2011, although the possibility of both sides going back-to-back would have to be remote at best. Deciding which event is deserving of the ‘Best Tournament’ Dougie was a tough assignment, taking into account the many outstanding nominees. But, after much consideration I’ve given my tick to two exceptional country tournaments, the Dot Jenkinson Ladies Pairs in Mildura and the Plumbtec Golden Pairs at Numurkah. When you consider that each year around 300 ladies travel to the Sunraysia area to compete in a tournament where teams need to win all of their preliminary rounds to play in the finals, the famed ‘DJ’ must have something special about it. I suspect the fantastic social aspect of this event could be a major attraction. Similarly, the huge prizemoney pool and opportunity to match skills with the best players over three days on good greens is the red-blooded challenge of the Plumbtec Pairs. And we can’t forget the terrific nightlife that the boys rave about after Numurkah every year as well. Top marks to tournament director Bruce Agnew and his team. Another difficult category in which to announce winners was the ‘Rising Talent’ Dougie, where I’m sure most people would have expected me to name Dylan Fisher from Clayton and Richmond Union’s Lisa Phillips. However, despite the undoubted talents of both Dylan and Lisa, I’ve gone for Chris Ball from Moonee Ponds and Kylie Whitehead from Wodonga. I’ve had the opportunity to watch young Chris in action over recent times and am certain he can become the genuine article, while people up on the border are singing the praises of Kylie, who has only been playing for a year. Elsewhere in this edition you’ll read about Kylie, who is a champion in several other sports and has taken to bowls like the proverbial duck to water. Now everyone knows what a modest bloke I am, but you’d have to be kidding if you didn’t agree that the final delivery of last year’s Queensland Open Men’s Pairs final at Bribie Island is a runaway winner in the ‘Best Shot of the Year’ Dougie. Playing alongside superstar Kelvin Kerkow against Delhi Games pairs representatives Aron Sherriff and Mark Berghofer, we managed to make the impossible shot possible and claim a most improbable victory. No doubt the ‘Smartest Decision’ Dougie goes to Bowls Australia for its domestic regulation ruling to return to the original 21-metre minimum length jack. Added to the worldwide resolution to ban giving the mat away, these factors will add another dimension to the way we play in the future. In contrast the ‘Dumbest Decision’ Dougie is awarded to the national selectors who decided that Karen Murphy and I, two former Commonwealth Games pairs gold medalists, shouldn’t go to Delhi. We were both in good form and placed at the top of the national rankings at the time, but were overlooked. There is no doubt in the minds of so many good judges around the world that had both played, the Aussies would have medaled in the men’s and women’s pairs disciplines. Of course there are those out there who will say it’s easy to be wise after the event, but I actually went on record suggesting that our pairs combinations would struggle well before our team even left for Delhi. The year’s ‘Fair Dinkum Crack’ Dougie must go to the Mentone Edge premier division pennant side for the initiative in presenting its night games at home as entertainment events. I had the pleasure of participating in the debut showing and was blown away by the professional hype, rock music and that devilish club mascot, along with the greenside seating and beverage service under portable floodlighting. Sure the purists might object to the distractions, but good players tune out when it’s their time to shine, and most people who have experienced the Edge’s high octane night matches genuinely hope the boys can survive this season in the big time and go on to bigger and better things. Brighton international Lee Schraner is hereby adorned with the ‘Forty Winks’ Dougie for his recent punctuality indiscretions. First off he was 20- minutes late for his second round match at last year’s Tweed Heads Golden Nugget Prestige Singles, a definite blooper, while last month he missed his flight to Tasmania for the test series. Leeroy’s award will most likely be in the form of a good quality, and loud, alarm clock. I’m nominating reigning state singles champion Brett Dodd for a Dougie in the ‘Best-Kept Secret’ category. I’d like to be as certain of winning the lottery as I am that the champ will return to Altona next season to fill the coaching position left by the early departure of David Donaldson. Gosh, 2011, it’s hard to believe that it’s twenty years since yours truly won the state singles and was runner-up in the national final. And at that stage I hadn’t even won a club title – perhaps that deserves a ‘Late Starter’ Dougie as well! Happy New Year! • Young Chris Ball from Moonee Ponds is a genuine rising star. Dougie Dougie Mark Jacobsen asics bowls shoes now available Coloured Bowls Trackpants and Shorts Coloured Slough Hats Coloured Polar Fleece Vests Coloured Baseball Caps Coloured Bucket Hats Call us for a quote on club orders. Coloured pants from $37, Vests from $37, hats from $13 SHOP ONLINE www.thebowlsshoppe.com.au (03) 9375 4820 firstname.lastname@example.org The Judgment Daze