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Bowls In Focus : December 2011
Bowls In Focus 17 Wilson and Dylan Fisher to a 13-shot margin as top contributor, while Wilks and his men grafted a four-shot win and the Roberts-skipped rink got up by a single shot. Our women, who were outgunned on all three rinks in the morning’s series opener, stared disaster in the face after 25 ends of the afternoon’s 63-end second test. At stake was one of the longest winning streaks in bowls with Victoria having won all 13 Laudenbach Shield Series’ since 1994. They sat 16-shots in arrears with the rink skipped by Carla Odgers languishing at 2-12 after eight, Sam Shannahan’s team trailed 2-11 at the same time, while Rebecca McMahon and her girls held a slender three-shot lead. However, when Odgers, Spizer, Larcombe and Troster (who had swapped positions with Claire Sanders) won the next end and decided to throw long jacks, the tempo of the match switched immediately. In fact, in a sensational performance, the Odgers rink kept their opponents scoreless for the next nine ends as they embarked on a scoring spree of 21 unanswered shots. And by the time their 21-ends had elapsed, the scoreline of 28-14 was the match-winner. Further across the green Shannahan, Wood, Sanders and Davey had recovered to take the score back to 12-13 with seven to play, while with three ends left they trailed 13-19. But some superb shotplay by Wood and Shannahan saw them collect three’s on the 19th and 21st ends, however a single in the middle was the winning margin for their ACT opposition. Poor Rebecca McMahon will have nightmares about her 100th and 101st state matches. After suffering a humbling first test loss, McMahon, Shortis, Phillips and Cowan held a four-shot lead with four ends to play when the experienced Colac City skip undercooked an attempted conversion and sliced the jack for a loss of seven. From there she and her direct opponent Ruth Moore traded shots before Moore collected two on the last end to clinch a six-shot ACT victory. Victoria’s overall seven-shot win levelled the series and set the scene for an Herculean battle the following morning to decide which state took the Laudenbach Shield home. Day two dawned with the men in an unassailable position having already won two rubbers out of three, yet they pushed hard in the third test to complete a clean sweep and return the coveted Abe Corrall Trophy to its pride of place at Bowls Victoria headquarters. Winning on two rinks, it was the combination of Flapper, Lester, Wilson and Fisher who topped the morning’s scoring with a 22-shot win, while they also finished as the state’s best-performed rink in the series. At the conclusion Flapper paid tribute to his lead and second - Wilson and Fisher - who were brilliant and may well prove to be the most potent front-end in Australian bowls in the not- too-distant future – worth a good look next time Victoria plays at home. Our women also restored order after being decidedly shaky on the first day, when, following the disappointing first round loss, they clinched the second with just one rink being successful. And it was a repeat performance in the decider with the heroes being the rink of Shannahan, Wood, Sanders and Davey who powered to an 18-shot win on the slick Wangaratta green. Ironically, Victoria again only managed to win a single rink and won this series having claimed just two rubbers from the nine contested. It’s certainly one for the trivia buffs: ‘Name the state team that won seven rubbers out of nine but lost the series? ’ Which state had two undefeated skippers out of three in a series yet went home without the trophy? Perhaps the most baffling statistic came from the Victorian rink that most good judges considered its flagship - McMahon, Shortis, Phillips and Cowan – who lost all three starts, of which none were particularly close. Whoever said bowls is a funny game wasn’t joking. At the presentations Aaron Wilson in his first senior series, and Carla Odgers in her first series as a state skipper, were named as ‘Players of the Series’. - David Allen Victoria v ACT Test Series at Wangaratta Bowls Club Men: First Test: Vic d ACT 76-55 (M Wilks 22 R Chesher 24, W Roberts 31 A Howie 16, M Flapper 23 D Jeffery 15). Second Test: Vic d ACT 72-54 (M Flapper 27 A Howie 14, M Wilks 22 D Jeffery 18, W Roberts 23 R Chesher 22). Third Test: Vic d ACT 75-46 (W Roberts 27 D Jeffery 13, M Flapper 34 R Chesher 12, M Wilks 14 A Howie 21). Victoria retained Abe Corrall Trophy 3-0 Women: First Test: Vic lost to ACT 45-67-45 (R McMahon 12 S Harmer 25, C Odgers 16 M Bacchetto 18, S Shannahan 17 R Moore 24). Second Test: Vic d ACT 67-60 (S Shannahan 19 M Bacchetto 20, R McMahon 20 R Moore 26, C Odgers 28 S Harmer 14). Third Test: Vic d ACT 75-67 (C Odgers 23 R Moore 25, S Shannahan 32 S Harmer 14, R McMahon 20 M Bacchetto 28). Victoria retained Laudenbach Shield 2-1 Mighty Vics • Above: Our women’s side extended its winning streak against ACT at Wangaratta. • Left: In her first outing as a state skipper Carla Odgers from Sunbury was named ‘Player of the Series’.