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Bowls In Focus : June July 2011
22 Bowls In Focus When it comes to entering in events at Moama Bowling Club, Rush- worth’s Jean Sprague is one who hardly misses a tournament and rarely finishes out of the prizemoney. The former Victorian representative, state pairs titleholder and champion of champions winner, who is a regular fixture in Moama’s big events, joined forces with Kevin Gilbert to win the club’s prestigious Noel Murphy Memorial Mixed Pairs in fine style last month. Noel Murphy was a highly respected club member and tireless worker back in the 1980s when he occupied the position of president for seven consecutive years. The local entrepreneur was a very handy bowler and prior to his involvement the club hadn’t won a pennant flag for seven years. Under Murphy’s guidance Moama won the B Reserve flag in 1982-83 for the first time, then as skipper his A reserve team won consecutive titles in 1983-84 and 1984-85. The former Bendigo Football League president and local councillor at Kyneton moved to Echuca-Moama where his talents were quickly identified and he became a City of Echuca councillor. He was a very sociable, popular and proud member and it was a particularly gloomy period in the club’s history when Noel passed away in 1988. The Noel Murphy event is esteemed around the club and much further afield, which is proved every year in May when the mixed pairs tournament bearing his name is heavily supported. Featuring fifty-four teams, this year’s was played at Moama and Rich River, where there was a dearth of close matches. With only four teams having won all four games, it came to the fifth round to see if those teams could hold firm and venture on into the play-offs. One of these teams included Glenroy and Victorian state player Nicole Shortis, who had amassed 25 shots-up from the four outings. She and partner Paul Kennedy lead 10-2 after five of the final round’s 12-ends but went missing for the remainder of the match and could only manage a 13-13 draw against Vern Watts from Bannockburn and his partner. With the Glenroy duo missing out and being placed fourth overall in the tournament, the other three teams moving into the play offs were local couple Margo and Barry Brennan from Moama, Rushworth’s Jean Sprague and Kevin Gilbert, and Numurkah Golf’s Steven and Lidija Patching. The Patchings drew the bye for the first round of the play-offs, leaving the Brennans to play the Rushworth pair. In bitterly cold and drizzly rain on the carpet green, with a big crowd watching the eliminator - watching from inside that is! - there was some wonderful bowls played by both teams. However, after four ends the game concluded with Sprague and Gilbert having a convincing 11-1 win. Then there were just two teams remaining to fight it out for the major share of the prize pool and the glory associated with success in this most hallowed event, as the Numurkah Golf combination went into the main event as defending champions and were warmly favoured amongst the onlookers. However, the Rushworth team came out very strong from the first end and continued to produce the goods. It was fair to say that Steven Patching was very unlucky on a couple of ends, but afterwards he and Lidija both shrugged it off and said ‘that’s bowls’. On the last end the score sat at 7-1 in favour of Sprague and Gilbert, so the scenario for back-to-back wins for the Patchings was to pick up a minimum six shots to force an extra end or seven for victory. However, despite their best efforts, they were only able to collect two shots, which saw the final score at 7-3 . The weekend had been a dream run for the Rushworth team, who were undefeated throughout and were deserving winners of the Noel Murphy event for the first time. - Daniel Butcher • Noel Murphy Memorial Mixed Pairs winners Jean Sprague and Kevin Gilbert from Rushworth. Try our demo bowls before you buy Roy will be very happy to assist you 61 Walker Street Dandenong Phone: 03 9793 3487 Your enjoyment is our business DANDENONG’S SPECIALIST BOWLS SHOP HIGHWAY BOWLS CENTRE HIGHWAY BOWLS CENTRE Try our demo bowls before you buy Roy will be very happy to assist you 61 Walker Street Dandenong Phone: 03 9793 3487 Your enjoyment is our business Try our demo bowls before you buy Try our demo bowls before you buy Try our demo bowls before you buy Try our demo bowls before you buy Try our demo bowls before you buy For Lawn Bowls Clothing, Equipment and Accessories MAIL ORDER AVAILABLE CAPTAIN/COACH Eastern Park Bowling Club Inc. is seeking an experienced bowler to help stimulate the Club’s performances in the forthcoming seasons. The successful applicant should be an established Premier League or Division One player capable of co-coordinating structured pennant practice in conjunction with a coaching panel. Eastern Park is a Division One club with excellent greens and facilities looking to have further success in the coming years. Contact Jim Hyatt on 0408 329 713 or email: email@example.com Subject: Captain/Coach. Murphy’s Law Favours Rushworth Duo Noel Murphy Mixed Pairs Classic at Moama Bowling Club Results: 1st: Jean Sprague, Kevin Gilbert (Rushworth), 2nd: Steven and Lidija Patching (Numurkah Golf), 3rd: Barry and Margo Brennan (Moama), 4th: Nicole Shortis, Paul Kennedy (Glenroy). Best winners: Game 1: Terry and Helen Vinton (Yarraville Footscray) +22, Game 2: Stefan and Wilma Wereszcuk (Beau- fort) +20, Game 3: Ken and Giselle Maynard (Moama) +18, Game 4: Leigh and Jan Robertson (Eagle- hawk) +20, Game 5: Bill and Sylvia Marshall (Yarraville Footscray) +16.
August September 2011