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Bowls In Focus : February 2011
West Triumphant In Last Hurrah came down on this year’s Victorian Group Sides Championship at the Corowa Services Bowls Club last month. Over the past fifteen years repre T sentative teams from the state’s six teen regions have strutted their stuff on the venue’s magnificent greens to decide which is the top Group combination for the season. Sadly, a lethal dose of commercial reality has had fatal complications for the Ball Park complex - at one time the world’s largest level playing field - and despite several attempts at resuscitation; the grand old lady has been forced to desist. It is understood the chatter of automatic sprinklers green mowers and polishing rollers at the riverside complex will fall silent in April; at the same time recollections of so many fantastic state events and international tournaments will also be committed to dusty memory. It is perhaps fitting that Metro W Group 9, the most successful outfit of the past decade, should emerge victorious in this encore performance The defending champions overcame a courageous Metro South East Group 14 side to capture the 72-end final for the fourth time in the past five years and fifth since 2002. But this year’s result was not without its dramas for these hard chargers from Melbourne’s west. In contrast to the South East men, who won their three Saturday qualifying rounds in grand style and outgunned the Oven & Murray side in Sunday morning’s semi finals, the titleholders shuddered through a rollercoaster ride to the main event. Finding themselves in the toughest section ever drawn – it also comprised Metro North, North Central and Yarra - in a quartet that has flagged in nine of the past ten years and twenty-five since 1971 – West here was more than a tinge of melancholy when the curtain The Championship Finals Final: Metro West (9) d Metro South East (14) 74-59 Rink 1: MW - Brett Dodd (Werribee RSL), Brendan Barker (Werribee RSL), Andy Myers (Werribee RSL), Dane McKinnon (Werribee RSL) defeated MSE - Dylan Benwell (Clayton), Stan Sliwinski (Clayton), Stuart Huddle (Clayton), Ash Rowan (Clayton) 20-14. Rink 2: MW - Paul Dorgan (Altona), Ray Morrissey (Altona), Steve Fowler (Rosamond), Mathew Perkins (Altona) lost to MSE - Tony Wood (Clayton), Jeff Parker (Clayton), Michael Adams (Berwick), Colin Davis (Clayton) 13-17. Rink 3: MW - Brenton Coad (Altona), Ben Loughlin (Altona), David Willcocks (Rosamond), Jamie Pearce (Yarraville Footscray) defeated MSE - Neil Devlin (Clayton), Alan Hughes (Mulgrave CC), John Anderton (Mulgrave CC), Jarrod Boyd (Cranbourne) 24-18. Rink 4: MW - Brad Peck (Altona), Ben Major (Werribee RSL), Len Callus (Altona), Craig Guymer (Yarraville Footscray) defeated MSE - Geoff Robinson (Burden Park), Tony Nelson (Burden Park), Ray Gaunt (Burden Park), Chris Hannaford (Clayton) 17-10. Semi finals: Metro South East (14) d Ovens & Murray (6) 65-31 (D Benwell 19 A Bates 3, T Wood 17 J Meneguzzi 15, N Devlin 17 G McDonald 7, G Robinson 13 O McBreen 6); Metro West (9) d Gippsland (8) 58-50 (B Dodd 11 R Burge 14, P Dorgan 22 G Aitken 17, B Coad 7 J McCormick 13, B Peck 18 J Leighton 6). • Above: It’s celebration time for the Metro West men after their championship victory. • Below: Wonderful Corowa was a potpourri of colour and action in its farewell showing. dropped their opening round and finished day one level with North on two wins and 28 shots. It took a calculator to decide they had won the section and gained a place in the final four by .011% on a countback. Then, up against the much- improved Gippsland side on Sunday morning, scores were level when 58 of the sixty semi final ends were semaphored. There was trepidation amongst West’s band of supporters - similar to the Group 7 skipper
March April 2011