State Champions Week 2016 – Day 7
Ovens and Murray have finished 2016 State Champions Week with an emotional win in both the mixed pairs final, and the Vic Shield for Victoria’s best-performed Region over the season.
Laureen Smith and Les Spencer (Yarrawonga Mulwala) took out the final State championship on offer at Bendigo East Bowling Club with a 21-12 victory over local hopes Amelia Bruggy and Andrew Brown (Bendigo Campaspe/Bendigo BC).
Smith was a late replacement for ill Ovens and Murray player Joy Johnson, and the victory was an emotional one as Johnson’s teammates and those in the Region dedicated both victories to her recovery from illness.
The Vic Shield is awarded for best performed Region of the season comprising all Region-run events, including those in State Champions Week.
Once Smith and Spencer made the final, they secured the Vic Shield for Ovens and Murray, giving them an unassailable lead over Northern Gateway.
Smith and Spencer produced a late comeback just to qualify for the final, fighting back to beat Metro West’s Sharon and Len Callus as Bruggy and Brown managed to edge out Gippsland duo Jan Morton and Ken Sceney in the other semi.
The final itself saw Bruggy and Brown off to a flyer with an early 4-1 lead, before Smith and Spencer powered back. A four at a crucial time helped them establish a 10-5 lead.
But the game-breaker was a six on end 13, punching the Ovens and Murray duo out to an 18-10 lead and changing the complexion of the match entirely.
Bowls Victoria President John Fisher and tournament director Barbara Gilbert both paid tribute to host club Bendigo East Bowling Club, which did a remarkable job over the seven days of competition.
The club’s three greens played excellently, while the team of volunteers manning the popular barbecue tent, coffee stall, bar and kitchen preparing meals for players and officials never missed a beat.
“We’d also like to thank City of Greater Bendigo for their generous support of this event, and efforts to allow us to put on such a great event in this area. All the players and officials enjoy coming here, and we look forward to being back again next year,” Mr Fisher said.
Final Vic Shield points
Ovens and Murray 57
Northern Gateway 50
Eastern Ranges 49
Central Victoria 46
Metro West 46
Bendigo Campaspe 37
West Coast 37
Peninsula Casey 35
Central Goulburn Murray 32
Murray Mallee 26
Results, mixed pairs
State Champions Week, Day 6 story
State Champions Week, Day 5 story
State Champions Week, Day 4 story
State Champions Week, Day 3 story
State Champions Week, Day 2 story
State Champions Week, Day 1 story