Women's Titles Decided
Champions crowned in Yallourn double-header
Pint-sized Rosebud diva Sandra McColgan staged an almighty comeback at the Yallourn Bowls Club today when she snatched victory in the Victorian Women's Champion of Champions title; while 2009 winners Evelyn Martin and Paula Wood from Clayton proved the superior combination in the state women's pairs championship which ran concurrently.
The Champion of Champions along with the state pairs are the two most senior events in Victorian women's bowls history, with origins dating back to the early 1900s, and by definition, are the oldest continuously contested women's championships in the world. Although the weather over the past two days wasn't ideal for championship play, the majestic Yallourn complex was a perfect venue for these two historic events to reach their culmination.
McColgan trailed Yarrawonga & Border Golf's classy Joy Johnson 8-17 after 19 ends of the champion of champions had elapsed and seemed to have no answers to Johnson's consistency with the draw. However, when the peninsula pocket rocket reclaimed the mat on the 20th end, she decided on a strict diet of long ends, then took control of the match by applying immense pressure on the rangy Johnson as she drew her first bowl very close on every visit to the mat.
Johnson, a losing semi finalist under similar circumstances in last year's event at Berwick, was only able to score on one more end - a single on the 26th - as the petite Rosebud businesswoman powered to victory.
Martin and Wood were simply superb in the 18-end pairs final, with Wood dominating the lead position, while Martin was in great form as she applied the finishing touches. The opponents in the main event, the great Barbara Withers from Lalor and Ivanhoe's Meredith Norton, were left floundering in their wake.
Scores were only level on one occasion, when the teams sat at 2-2 after three ends, and the final was really only a genuine contest up until the eighth end when the Clayton combo lead 8-7. Sadly, from that point onwards, Withers and Norton were little more than spectators as Martin and Wood piled on the shots and had amassed 19 before their opponents claimed another single.
This was an heroic performance by the now two-times champions. Yesterday they were caught up in a 'double-up' tangle which resulted in them sitting around for six hours after their opening match, then being sent home after just two ends of their next outing. Back this morning, they were required to complete the unfinished quarter final against Seymour's Alison Hall and Ann Borham - winning 25-18 - then face up to state representatives Brooke and Gayle Edwards from Keilor.
There was no love lost in the Martin and Wood versus Edwards and Edwards encounter. However, the one-shot scoreline to the eventual winners in this tense affair was probably a fair result considering their early supremacy in the match. Then came the final where the Clayton team were simply too good - there can be no other explanation.
One aspect which made the Clayton victory even more meritorious was the fact that skipper Evelyn Martin, who is suffering with dodgy hips, was unable to settle in her motel room bed last night. However, she found relief for the pain using an alternative therapy that may never make it into the pages of 'The Chiropractors Journal' - she went out and slept in her car in the motel carpark. What a performance? Limited sleep in the backseat of a small family sedan, three games of championship bowls and another state title. Awesome!
In the other pairs semi final this morning Withers and Norton were struggling at 4-11 after eleven ends against local stars Joanne Martin and Joyce Wardley, then claimed three successive counts of three to hit the front where they remained for the the rest of the 18-end decider.
Both semi finals in the champion of champions were one-sided with Johnson outgunning Caulfield Park's Ann McCarthy 25-13, while McColgan signified her intentions when she disposed of the highly-fancied Anne Cotterill from Geelong RSL 25-11.
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.
Semi finals: Johnson d McCarthy 25-13, McColgan d Cotterill 25-11.
Final: Sandra McColgan (Rosebud) d Joy Johnson (Yarrwonga & Border Golf) 25-18.
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, Clayton d Seymour 25-18, Yallourn d Armadale 17-16, Lalor/Ivanhoe composite d Bendigo East 19-13.
Semi finals: Lalor/Ivanhoe composite d Yallourn 16-14, Clayton d Keilor 16-15.
Final: Evelyn Martin, Paula Wood (Clayton) d Barbara Withers (Lalor), Meredith Norton (Ivanhoe) 24-9.
Pictured: Victorian women's pairs winners Paula Wood and Evelyn and newly crowned champion of champions Sandra McColgan with state president Graeme Hosken.