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Bowls In Focus : November 2011
Bowls In Focus 15 pairs cash on the line - have been hosted at the Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk. Previously the event was conducted in huge British stadiums such as Preston’s Guild Hall, the scene of many titanic championship battles, and venue of Australia’s only triumph, when Queensland’s Ian Schuback won the singles title in 1992. Many good judges have suggested that Tony is the most-improved player in Victoria over the past two or three seasons and his list of successes tend to verify that opinion. Last year he and former Australian skipper Michael Wilks won their way into the final of the Australian Open pairs championship at Shepparton Park where they ran into the red-hot English combination of Stuart Airey and Mervyn King and had to be content with the silver medal and a fistful of cash. Then there was the Victorian Country Master Pairs Championship at Kyabram where Tony and former Clayton teammate Doug O’Connell swept all before them to claim the major prize. And let’s not forget his performance in this year’s Bowls Victoria Group Sides Championship at Corowa, when the undermanned Metro South East team upstaged everyone by reaching the final, but went down to the powerful Group 9 side. This was due in no uncertain terms to Tony’s magnificent performance where he was the only undefeated skipper in the five matches played. However, a few old timers around Clayton reckon that the rise to Tony’s current credentials started back in 2007 when he was lead in the rink of teammates Greg Blade, Les Such and Terry McRedmond that won the state fours championship. They claim his faultless display of draw bowls in the front position paved the way to the Clayton team’s victory. When asked if the remote possibility of a win in the world indoor singles would be the highlight of his career, Tony’s answer was an emphatic ‘No’. “Sure the $70,000 first prize would be great, but nothing matches the exhilaration and enjoyment of winning a pennant grand final,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have played in three; Metropolitan Division 1 a few years back, and the last two premier division pennants, and to share these experiences with your mates is the ultimate buzz.” On 18 January next year, Tony faces Scotland’s Stewart Anderson in the first round on the carpet at Potter’s, where win or lose the world number 12 will know he has been in a contest, because his opponent is a fierce competitor who gives nothing less than 100%. And one wonders if amongst all the hype, this modest young man will cast his mind back to 1999, when as an 11-year-old, his late grandfather Paul Camilleri first took him out onto the Dandenong RSL green to kick start his career. It’s a long way from Dandenong to Hopton On Sea in Norwich but Tony has handled the journey with the aplomb of a veteran. - David Allen 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 • Below: Clayton’s Tony Wood is off to tackle the world’s best in January. • Left: In action during the 2010 Australian Open pairs championship final at Shepparton Park. • Above: With pairs partner and mentor Michael Wilks prior to the Open final.