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Bowls In Focus : February 2011
20 Bowls In Focus Back in 1852, when miners first discovered gold at Wombat Flat, the area’s natural beauty and the promise of treasure to be found beneath its surface made it the place to be. However, three years later, after Governor Sir Charles Hotham first visited the area and noticed its similarities to a place in Worcester, he renamed it Daylesford. It would be one of his final decrees before he died on New Years Eve of 1855. Last month another trove of treasure was discovered, albeit above ground this time, at the old Wombat Flat when it showcased a brood of tal- ented youngsters in the Victorian Junior Provincial Championship at the Daylesford Bowls Club. This would have pleased Governor Hotham no end. He championed physical activity for the young and was the first bureaucrat to insist sport be added to the curriculums of Melbourne’s snooty colleges. On a postcard perfect day the Daylesford club was a kaleidoscope of colour and energy as the competitors and their support teams arrived for this special day. Someone remarked that it was a junior version of the much-lauded Group Sides Cham- pionship for senior bowlers held each January, a brimming assessment. Decked out in their region’s distinctive livery the teams of boys and girls looked a treat, and while ages ranged from 10 to almost 18, they came in an assortment of sizes and shapes. Who’ll forget Bay- side Peninsula’s Ben Cuthbertson from Mentone, a lanky ruckman, and his diminutive Long Island teammate Cooper Kraus, who would be a nippy rover around the packs. The standard of bowls was first-rate from deft draw shots and telling conversions to thundering drives, and all delivered with true competitive spirit and the highest level of spor tsmanship. And what about the bowls-speak? ‘Rake through here’, ‘land that jack high bowl’, ‘we need a back wood’, ‘a front hopper’s worth four’ and, occasion- ally, ‘kill it!’ Representative sides from eight regions com- peted in this sixth running of the event, comprising two sections of four teams, with each region con- sisting of three rinks. The round-robin format called for three rounds of 2-bowl triples with games being of 75-minutes duration. Regional teams par ticipating in the champion- ships were the Ballarat Gold Diggers, a composite Bayside Dolphins and Peninsula Pythons side, Bendigo Dragons, Central Explorers, Central High- lands Rangers, Geelong Giants, Northern Flyers and Western Warriors. It was the Geelong youngsters who went out as defending champions, and they would have a Treasures Of Wombat Flat • Above: Competitors in the championship formed a blaze of colour. • Below: The jubilant Western Warriors after their victory at Daylesford.
March April 2011