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Bowls In Focus : May 2011
16 Bowls In Focus Anyone assigned to film the events of last month’s Australian Sides Championship at beautiful Nelson Bay on the NSW north coast could be forgiven for thinking it was footage for the first-ever bowls soapie. Among the many dramatics to emerge came the sickening image of a skipper from the Northern Territory women’s team being felled when her achilles tendon snapped while send- ing away a humble draw shot, while we cringed after a South Australian lady collapsed with what appeared to be a stroke, then cheered when she returned to the green a day later. However, for a soap opera to work it also needs a slice of slapstick. And no doubt the hotel fire alarm caper, when competitors and officials were sent scurrying downstairs in various stages of undress in the wee hours of the morning makes the cut. A tad disturbing at the time, but a source of much mirth once the emergency passed. Of course, amidst all of this was the interstate bowls where Victoria’s men finished with sides champion- ship silver for the fourth year in suc- cession – six out of the past seven in fact - and a gold in the Super 6 triples competition that followed. There was the agony of our women, who scored one match point more than their four th place finish in Adelaide last year, yet slipped one slot further down the national table, while the men actually scored one less but still managed second place outright. We can’t forget the ecstasy though. Imagine the wide-eyed exhilaration debutantes Brett Foley, Neville Rodda, Anne Miles and Elise Cowan would have felt when they arrived at the fantastic Nelson Bay club for their first championship? All, I can happily report, were admirable performers for their state. Our representatives started well with two wins against South Australia in round one when Wayne Roberts from Yarraville Footscray and his rink of Lee Schraner from Brighton, Richmond Union’s Neville Rodda and Peter Loe from Essendon headed the men’s charge, while the Clayton duo of skipper Joyce Lindores and Paula Wood along with Sandra Connolly from Moama and Sunbury’s Elise Cowan drove the women across the line. A 19-shot round two win over WA, in which Michael Wilks from Clayton and his team of Bundoora RSL’s Nick McIntyre and Adam Galloway plus rookie Brett Foley from Shepparton Golf were best-performed, placed the Big V firmly in the frame. However, consecutive losses to Tasmania and NSW, when the team could only man- age one draw - to the combination of Essendon’s Matty Flapper, Brett Dodd from Werribee RSL, Bendigo East’s Brad Holland and Barrie Lester from Moonee Ponds, against Tassie – was a disappointing outcome. In the same stanza our girls fared better when Keilor’s Gayle Edwards, Nicole Shortis from Glenroy, Yar- rawonga & Border Golf’s Anne Miles and Brooke Edwards from Keilor did enough to get the Vics home against the Apple Islanders. Both sides returned to the win- ning list on day three against ACT when the men emerged from a tight scrap by four, while Lindores, Wood, Connolly and Cowan, our top rink at Nelson Bay, returned a 15-shot win to clinch points for the girls. The afternoon’s sixth round saw the plucky NT side take it right up to our men and in what might be a first, managed to halve the match. But further up the green Rebecca McMahon from Colac City and her team of Lara’s Sam Shannahan, Robyn Thomassen from Grangeburn and Sunbury’s Carla Odgers were in full flight as they powered to a 25-0 lead after just eight ends to pave the way to victory. It was a mixed bag on the last morning of the nationals when the Victorian men gave their Queensland counterparts – who were shooting for a fourth consecutive title – their annual touch-up, as Roberts and his men fuelled the flames with a 13-shot win over international Brett Wilkie and his team. A single shot win to Wilks, McIntyre, Galloway and Foley over Australian skipper Mark Casey’s Qld side was sufficient to claim top Victo- rian rink honours for the week. Unfortunately, the women went down in all three matches against the maroons, who came through the competition undefeated to claim the Marj Morris Trophy for the fifth time since 2003. Similarly, the NSW men were unscathed on route to their state’s unprecedented 18th win in the coveted Alley Shield. At the completion Barrie Lester and Robyn Thomassen were both presented with ‘Player of the Series’ awards by state president Graeme Hosken, acknowledging their fine contributions over the four days. The Opera • Above: It was a fourth consecutive silver medal for the Victorian men’s side. • Below: Despite their best efforts our women could only manage fifth place overall.
March April 2011
June July 2011