Champions Crowned in Year One of State Arm Singles Event

by Team BV

The State Arm Singles Championships for men & women named in Honour of Bowling Arm campaigner Phil Gude have been run and won with the inaugural staging of the first finals.

Fields had been narrowed down to finalists in each category and with the Men’s event having progressed to the Quarter Final at the completion of the first days’ play the eight remaining players were all keen to advance to the Semi-Finals.

Results from the Quarter Finals of the Men’s Arm State Singles Championships conducted at MCC Bowls Section, Hawthorn saw Michael Rose (Lilydale) victorious over Steve Mitchell (Koroit) 21/19, Tony Long (St.Leonards) against Wayne Frazer (Burden Park) 21/6, Lee Wesley (Burwood) downed Kevin Hutchinson (Rosebud CC) 21/8 and John Snell (Lilydale) defeating Ron Hayes (Donvale) 21/15.

With both the men’s and women’s Singles semi-finals being conducted simultaneously spectators had plenty of activity to savour and players did not let them down with some excellent displays of accurate draw shot play that at times was mesmerising. Lee Wesley (Burwood) accounted for State Representative Side team-mate Tony Long (St.Leonards) 21/7 to be the first player to book his ticket in to the final and Michael Rose (Lilydale) became Wesley’s opponent in the final after he scored a 21/11 win over legendary playing identity and Club-mate John Snell who had incidentally been providing Michael with some tips that he became the victim of himself during their match. Joan Moss (City of Echuca) completed her pathway to the women’s final with a strong finish in her match to overcome Adele Ryan 21/15 after she trailed 13/15, picking up eight shots over the last four ends to complete her journey. Kerry Ralph (Barooga) claimed the second berth in the Women’s final with a very steady 21/13 win over Pamela Wakeford of Glen Waverley who could be very happy with her efforts during the competition.

The afternoon finals were very tight tussles with players in both matches being level on several occasions. In the men’s singles Rose and Wesley were locked together at six all and Moss and Ralph at five all after just over an hour in to each match and nobody standing out as a definite winner. Kerry Ralph made her charge to lead Joan Moss 14/9 after one and a half hours and a similar score-line was unfolding in the Men’s final with Michael Rose getting on top of Lee Wesley to also lead by five shots with the score 14/9 in his favour.

Over the next half an hour both matches took a favourable turn for both Michael Rose and Kerry Ralph as they both took complete control of their matches to post memorable victories. Michael Rose was simply smothering the jack in the last ends of his match against Lee Wesley and he took the honours after Wesley knocked Rose’s closest bowl in for shot on the last end to win 21/9 and secure the first State Arm Singles Championship.

Kerry Ralph shut Joan Moss out of their match after stringing together a number of consecutive ends over the closing stages of their match and no matter what Moss tried, she didn’t have an answer for the relentless drawing to the jack of Ralph and Kerry ran out a 21/12 winner to secure her State Arm Singles title.

In presenting medallions to the winners Phil Gude informed all those assembled of how Arm Bowling has taken off over time and how Bowls Victoria has supported this endeavour to keep as many people as possible active in the sport of Bowls and how the arm device aspect of bowls was gathering momentum right across Australia.

Men’s Singles finalists photo: L to R Michael Rose (Lilydale) winner, Phil Gude and Lee Wesley (Burwood) runner-up.

Women’s Singles finalists photo: L to R Kerry Ralph (Barooga) winner, Phil Gude and Joan Moss (City of Echuca) runner-up.

For a detailed report on how Day One unfolded, please click here.

Find out who won the augural Women’s State Arm Bowling Pairs title and Men’s sectionals here.