2017 Ocean Grove Classic Fours
The 30th year of the Ocean Grove Classic Fours – one of the most prestigious Men’s Fours events in the State – once again delivered excitement and interest right up until the final bowl was delivered.
Never before have we seen the leaderboard change so much in the final two rounds of competition as the local Ocean Grove team of Ken Thomas, Mick West, Tony Joel and skipper Matt Flapper replicated a Steven Bradbury Winter Olympics moment.
Going into Day 3 and playing their seventh game of 15 ends the Grovers were positioned fifth on the leader board with five wins from their six games.
Overnight leaders and undefeated on five wins and a draw, the Mitcham combination of George Hindi, Barry Ward, Jamie Sloan and Stephen Milsted faced the challenge of a redhot team skipped by former State representative Scott Mortimer in round seven.
Hot on the heels of Milsted were defending champions Jim Fitzpatrick (COG), Lance Kelly and Cal Inderberg (Drysdale) and Brendan Umbers (Lara). With only one blemish to their name they were making their mark on the RT Edgar Classic once again whilst trying for that elusive back-to-back Classic victory.
As Milsted failed to capitalise on his overnight position going down to Mortimer, Umbers advanced to top of the standings with a win over the Creswick Gerry Flapper team.
Essendon’s Jay Bye Norris teamed up with dad Colin, Steve Purvinas and Danny Dugina and they jumped into contention with a solid 23-9 victory against Drysdale’s Brian Bull Bennett and sat on the heels of Umbers.
The final round provided more excitement as the Clifton Springs boys Rick Nichol, Rick Webb, Larry Donohue and skipper Matt Robertson (Benalla), coming off a round seven thumping, were going head to head with the event leaders.
With all eyes locked on their scoreboard Robertson – needing to bounce back from the morning defeat to have any chance of finishing in the top 10 – made a mark and started to gain control of the match from the 10th end.
On the green adjacent Flapper’s Ocean Grove team were awaiting their opportunity after winning game seven and a nose in front of Highton’s Graeme Wright in round eight.
Bye Norris was on the carpet against the powerful Burleigh Heads team skipped by Gary Pearson, who finished their tournament in style relegating the Essendon side to fourth.
Robertson got the spoils against Umbers, Milsted rebounded to win the final game, Flapper the last team to finish on the grass held on to win the final end and win the $18,000 RT Edgar Classic Men’s Fours for 2017.
Winners – Ken Thomas, Mick West, Tony Joel, Matt Flapper (Ocean Grove) 21Pts + 38
Runners Up – George Hindi, Barry Ward, Jamie Sloan, Steve Milsted (Mitcham) 19Pts +30
Third – Jim Fitzpatrick, Lance Kelly, Cal Inderberg, Brendan Umbers (Composite) 18Pts +61
Fourth – Jay Bye-Norris (Essendon) 18Pts + 57
Fifth – Dan Mars (MCC) 18Pts + 34
Sixth – Matt Robertson (Composite) 18Pts + 12
Seventh – Jarrod Burt (Victoria) 17Pts + 35
Eighth – Scott Mortimer (Melbourne) 16Pts + 26
Ninth – Gary Pearson (Burleigh Heads) 16Pts + 13
Tenth – Nick Doyle (Bareena) 15Pts + 43
From Ocean Grove BC, a big thank you to all players that took part in the event, Teams from as far as Qld, NSW, NT and Tasmania competed.
Our Business partners RT Edgar and the team which have supported the event for nearly 10 years are crucial to the success of the tournament and we maintain the status as one of the most prestigious fours events in the State due to the professional manner in which the volunteers and staff of the Ocean Grove Bowls Club look after the players during the course of the Classic.