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Bowls In Focus : December 2011
Bowls In Focus 27 Senior Championship Diminutive Sandra McColgan from the Rosebud Country Club pulled off the most impressive win of her eight-year career recently when she won the Victorian Women’s Over-60 Singles Championship at Mornington Civic Bowls Club. Her opponent in the final was the great Robyn Thomassen from Grangeburn, who good judges framed as favourite after she thrashed Mulgrave Country Club’s Evelyn Martin in the morning semi final, having previously disposed of Kerang’s Coral Wise and former winner Judy Nardella from Yarraville Footscray, the 2006 world indoor champion, on the day before. What’s more Thomassen, who is one of the most gracious ladies in the game, would still be severely wounded – and mystified - at her omission from this season’s women’s state squad despite being adjudged as Victoria’s best player in the Australian Sides Championship at Nelson Bay NSW in April. One suggests there was a point to be proved. But McColgan, the reigning Victorian champion of champions, showed little compassion when she raced to a jaw-dropping 11-0 lead after just four ends of the final. And although Thomassen collected successive singles on the next two, McColgan continued her rampage when she immediately ‘got them back’, then sounded the death knell by collecting a count of four on the ninth to be up 17-2 and effectively strangle any chance of an heroic fightback. Over the six concluding ends Thomassen added four singles while McColgan added a pair of two’s to emerge victorious. It was the pint-sized peninsula trundler’s fourth Victorian championship in a relatively short career, adding to her 2004 novice singles win, the fours title in the same year and her valiant champion of champions triumph at Yallourn eight months ago. But McColgan’s win was not without its trials. In her first round match against Drouin’s Denise Hamilton on the previous day - after jumping to an early lead then being hauled in and passed by the Strzelecki champion - McColgan was down game. With the scores at 20-all Hamilton’s close counter was a match lie before the little champ played a weighted shot to slice the jack to her back bowl and clinch the match. Her next opponent Gwen Close from Queenscliff also gave her no comfort over the initial dozen ends before McColgan embarked on a run of eight winning rotations from the last nine to claim victory and a start in the next day’s semi finals. Then all that stood between her and the state play-off was Warracknabeal Golf’s classy Edna Anderson, another well-fancied runner. And when Edna picked up six shots in three ends after trailing 8-16, spectators at greenside were anticipating a big finish. However, a pair of two’s and a one interspersed by an Anderson single saw the gritty little local hero in the main event. A star-studded line-up of region champions took to the swift-running Civic greens on the morning of day one where a large crowd witnessed several interesting and entertaining affairs. But none was more entertaining than Evelyn Martin’s win over Barbara Crossley from Talbot in the first round. At the outset Martin employed a strict diet of short-ends, which befuddled Crossley - whose last trip to these greens saw her skip a Talbot rink to the state fours title – as she leapt to a 17-1 lead. But when Crossley eventually won the mat, she went long straight away and in the blink of an eye the scores were locked at 20-20. That’s when Barbara played her ‘worst end in 20 years’ as Evelyn claimed the end and progressed to the quarter finals. It was just one of the many highlights of a wonderful championship presented at an equally wonderful venue. - David Allen Victorian Women’s Over-60 Singles Championship at Mornington Civic Bowls Club Round of 16: J Lindores (Clayton) d M Stephenson (Moama) 21-15, E Martin (Mulgrave CC) d B Crossley (Talbot) 21-20, C Wise (Kerang) d B O’Donnell (Darebin City) 21-10, G Close (Queenscliff) d J Chick (Thornbury) 21-19, S McColgan (Rosebud CC) d D Hamilton (Drouin) 21-20, E Anderson (Warracknabeal Golf) d D Hogan (Seymour) 21-20, U Boak (Yarrawonga & Border Golf) d J Hogan (Bairnsdale Golf) 21-9 . Quarter finals: Martin d Lindores 21-18, Thomassen d Wise 21-16, McColgan d Close 21-11, Anderson d Boak 21-13. Semi finals: Thomassen d Martin 21-9, McColgan d Anderson 21-15 . Final: Sandra McColgan (Rosebud Country Club) d Robyn Thomassen (Grangeburn) 21-6. • Above: Life member Fay Dunn congratulates Sandra McColgan on her stunning victory. • Below: McColgan on her winning way at Mornington Civic. • Right: Runner-up Robyn Thomassen in action during the semi finals. Little Champ’s Big Win