Winter Chills - State Title Thrills
Major women's championship deciders at Yallourn tomorrow
Surely today would have to be one that lives long in bowls, and meteorological infamy, after the first two rounds of our Victorian Women's Champion of Champions and State Pairs were conducted at the Yallourn Bowls Club?
Hats off - or should that be hats on? - to the competitors and officials who braved the shocking conditions to ensure the smooth flow of these time-honoured state events.
In the champion of champions Caulfield Park's Ann McCarthy has emerged as favourite after two emphatic victories against quality opponents. In this morning's opener McCarthy kept Dennington's Maureen Drennen to just 10 shots; then annexed the performance in the soggy post-lunch session when she restricted Maureen Lehmann from Dimboola to an even dozen.
Her opponent in tomorrow morning's semi final will be Joy Johnson from Yarrawonga & Border Golf, who reached the final four by defeating Denise Eastick from Hampton Park, then newly capped Sunbury state player Elise Cowan. Tomorrow morning's match will be consecutive semi final starts for Johnson, who was narrowly defeated by Lyn Maple from Central Wendouree at Berwick last year, and she will be looking to progress a step or two further this time around.
Ironically, back in 2003 when this event was last conducted at the impressive Yallourn club, Anne Cotterill from Geelong RSL (she represented Highton in those days) played her way into the main event, where she too lost narrowly to Yarraville Footscray's Judy Nardella. In this morning's first round Cotterill outgunned Chadstone's Lola McBride; which pitted her against 2009 champion Ann Borham from Seymour in this afternoon's 'match of the day'. Despite the drenching conditions, and sporadic arctic blasts, the two Zone champions provided a wonderful contest, and in the wash-up it was Cotterill's skilful conversion shots that would be the difference.
Rosebud's Sandra McColgan fills the fourth spot in the semi final line-up after claiming victories over Stawell's Joan Smyth - where she blasted to a 25-13 victory after being 11-13 down eight ends earlier - then charismatic Fitzroy Victoria youngster Kirsty Poile. In the match against Poile, the diminutive Peninsula champion roared away to a 19-5 lead when another monsoonal rainburst forced a stoppage. However, at the resumption Poile managed to generate a scoring run and reached 17-20 before McColgan struck back with the five required to go out.
Local spirits were far from dampened with the stirring performance of host club stars Joanne Martin and Joyce Wardley, who will meet the seasoned composition of Lalor's Barbara Withers and Meredith Norton from Ivanhoe in tomorrow pairs semi finals. Martin and Wardley were too accomplished for Warrnambool's Helen Lock and Colleen Haberfield this morning, and managed to hold off the fast-finishing Armadale duo of Di Grosberg and Rose-Marie Toder in this afternoon's quarter finals.
Withers and Norton showed plenty of championship spirit today when they clinched hard-fought 18-enders in waterlogged warfare against Richmond Union's Noelene Gerty and Sharon Warfe, then Susan Howes and Mary Frank from Bendigo East.
The Keilor daughter-mother combination of Brooke and Gayle Edwards has booked a semi final start for tomorrow after a last-minute rush got them home against Colac City's Rebecca McMahon and Leeanne Fitzgerald in round one; while it was a bolting start against Mt Martha's Lesley Eade and Sandra Richardson that paved their way into tomorrow's deciders.
The Edwards girls are patiently waiting for whichever team prevails in the postponed quarter final match between Alison Hall and Ann Borham from Seymour and former champions Evelyn Martin and Paula Wood from Clayton, which will be completed tomorrow morning.
Play commences at 9.00am and admission is free.
Victorian Women’s Champion of Champions at Yallourn Bowls Club
Round of 16: Joy Johnson (Yarrawonga & Border Golf) d Denise Eastick (Hampton Park) 25-9, Elise Cowan (Sunbury) d Ruth Phillips (Box Hill RSL) 25-23, Maureen Lehmann (Dimboola) d Marie Rowe (Kangaroo Flat) 25-23, Ann McCarthy (Caulfield Park) d Maureen Drennan (Dennington) 25-10, Ann Borham (Seymour) d Rhonda Ballard (Cohuna Golf) w/o, Anne Cotterill (Geelong RSL) d Lola McBride (Chadstone) 25-16, Sandra McColgan (Rosebud) d Joan Smyth (Stawell) 25-13, Kirsty Poile (Fitzroy Victoria) d Pat Bourke (Bairnsdale) 25-9.
Quarter finals: Johnson d Cowan 25-19, McCarthy d Lehmann 25-12, Cotterill d Borham 25-18, McColgan d Poile 25-17.
Victorian Women’s Pairs Championship at Yallourn Bowls Club
Round of 16: Mt Martha (Lesley Eade, Sandra Richardson) d Barham Services (Beryl Plier, Lois Mues) 16-13, Keilor (Brooke Edwards, Gayle Edwards) d Colac City (Rebecca McMahon, Leeanne Fitzgerald) 18-16, Seymour (Alison Hall, Ann Borham) d Benalla (Lottie Taylor, Kerri Leask) 24-10, Clayton (Evelyn Martin, Paula Wood) d Berwick (Jean Reddy, Jean Fothergill) 21-11, Yallourn (Joanne Martin, Joyce Wardley) d Warrnambool (Helen Lock, Colleen Haberfield) 18-12, Armadale (Di Grosberg, Rose-Marie Toder) d Mt Xavier (Joy Adams, Margaret McKenna) 18-12, Lalor/Ivanhoe composite (Barbara Withers, Meredith Norton) d Richmond Union (Noelene Gerty, Sharon Warfe) 17-15, Bendigo East (Susan Howes, Mary Frank) d Coughlin Park (Jean Flack, Julianne Stehn) 19-11.
Quarter finals: Keilor d Mt Martha 18-11, Yallourn d Armadale 17-16, Lalor/Ivanhoe composite d Bendigo East 19-13.
Pictured: Champion of Champions semi finalists Joy Johnson Anne Cotterill, Sandra McColgan and Ann McCarthy.