2016 Women’s Region Sides Championship
Bendigo Campaspe are the new Women’s Region Sides bowls champions, taking the 2016 title at Murray Downs Country Club.
Bendigo Campaspe beat Metro West 60-41 in the final – Lee Harris’ rink outstanding for the winning side with a 32-3 win.
It’s the first Region Sides title for Bendigo Campaspe’s women, with the dominant Victorian women’s region in recent years Northern Gateway making a surprise early exit in the sectional rounds.
Bendigo Campaspe got off to a flyer, leading 15-5 on 10 ends before Metro West rolled back into the contest.
Ends 20 to 40 were an arm-wrestle.
But with the scores tied at 35-all on 35 ends, it started raining shots for Bendigo Campaspe – with two critical bowls on adjoining rinks pushing them out to a 46-35 lead after 40.
They extended that to 54-40 on 48 ends and extended again as the match wore on to finish with a 19-shot victory.
Ironically, both teams stayed in the same motel during their stay in host venue Swan Hill – making for some interesting Sunday conversation over the breakfast table at the Jane Eliza Motor Inn as the prospect of a final between the breakfast-mates loomed.
On day one, champions Northern Gateway came into the competition as the equivalent of AFL’s Hawthorn – three successive titles, the prospect of a fourth, but a target on their backs.
The first arrow found its mark in their first match in Section C – Sandbelt upsetting the three-time defending champs.
But the biggest surprise came next, as Ovens and Murray then beat Northern Gateway – making it impossible for the champs to make the semis and ending their title defence.
Sandbelt then beat Ovens and Murray 44-37 to clinch top spot and make the semis.
Elsewhere in the sectionals, Bendigo Campaspe and West Coast came down to the closest of mathematical equations before Bendigo Campaspe were declared Section A winners on score difference, and West Coast missed out by the barest of margins.
Central Victoria won all three of their sectional matches – the last by a shot over Strzelecki – to emerge as a contender out of Section D.
For Central’s 13-year-old Kira Bourke (Maryborough Golf), making the semis with her team capped off a big week after she’d made the Under 18 State Singles final.
Ticking along quietly but ominously in the background were Metro West, unbeaten in all three of their Section B matches to make the semis.
Skips Kathy Kirkpatrick, Lyn Milledge and Pam Glynn filled three of the four top spots on the skips ladder, showing Metro West’s depth and form going into the final four.
They’d need both, as well as maintaining their nerve in a thrilling semi against Central Victoria. It came down to the last end – Central picking up a late shot to level things at 41-all before that.
But Metro West picked up two shots on the last end – some brilliant bowls played by both sides – to seal a final berth.
In the other semi-final, Bendigo Campaspe started well and didn’t ease up to end Sandbelt’s tournament with a 48-29 win.
Winners, Bendigo Campaspe:
Jill Grimshaw, Pat Schram, Merilyn Rehe, Marilyn Stephenson (s)
Stephanie Priest, Janet Robertson, Gwen Waegeli, Lee Harris (s)
Michelle Cunnington, Margo Brennan, Veronica Kelly, Sandra Connolly (s)
Manager: Joy McArthur
Runners-up, Metro West
Donna Hill, Norma Harvey, Jenny Parker, Lyn Miledge (s)
Sharon Callus, Judy Brown, Edith Grinham, Pam Glynn (s)
Judy Nardella, Sharon Fletcher, Jan Haygarth, Kathy Kirkpatrick (s)
Manager: Catherine Haldane
Results and ladder, Round 1
Results and ladder, Round 2
Results and ladder, Round 3
Event page and competition information