2018 State Arm Bowling Championships
Lilydale’s Michael Rose and Barooga’s Kerry Ralph have both secured back-to-back Bowlers Arm State Championships after taking out the 2018 men’s and women’s singles finals at City of Frankston Bowling Club.
Rose beat Moama surprise packet Vern Rehe 21-17 in a brilliant final – Rehe fighting back from 18-11 down and saving match once to make a real contest of the final.
In the men’s singles semi-finals, Rose beat his clubmate and one of bowls’ all-time greats, John Snell 21-11. Rehe beat State arm bowling team member and former Victorian Open champion Neil Crisp (Koroit) in a thriller 21-18.
Rose and Snell then teamed to make the men’s pairs final, but were no match for Cohuna Golf’s Ron Eckhardt and Rodney Fletcher, who ran out 16-10 winners.
Eckhardt and Fletcher were scintillating early, out to a 14-3 lead by halfway through and played superb bowls throughout. Rose and Snell rallied in the back half of the match, but the deficit was too great to overcome within the 15 ends.
Ralph’s thrilling singles victory came down to the last shot of a memorable final to secure her Phil Gude State Singles championship – both singles events named after the driving force behind Victorian Arm Bowling.
Ralph ran out a 21-19 winner over local hope Ann Power (City of Frankston). With the match tied at 19-all and Power holding shot and possibly match, Ralph delivered a peach which moved the jack on to her own bowl, giving her the two shots she needed to win.
Power was unable to change the game with her final shot, and State team member Ralph was able to defend the inaugural title she won last year.
In the women’s semi-finals, Ralph beat Adele Ryan (Ocean Grove) 21-8, while Power (City of Frankston) beat Joan Moss (City of Echuca) to secure her final place.
But Ralph was unable to repeat the dose in the women’s pairs final. She teamed with Adele Ryan, but lost to defending champions Pam Wakeford and Carole Klop of Glen Waverley 17-10.
Wakeford and Klop got off to a flying start which was the key to winning the 15-end match. They led 13-1 after eight ends, and despite a late flurry from Ryan and Ralph, were able to defend when under pressure and maintain their margin to the finish.
Men’s singles quarter-finals
Michael Rose d Ron Eckhardt 21-0
Neil Crisp d Brian Gay 21-11
John Snell d Winston Taylor 21-13
Vern Rehe d Rodney Fletcher 21-15
Men’s singles semi-finals
Michael Rose d John Snell 21-11
Vern Rehe d Neil Crisp 21-18
Men’s singles final
Michael Rose d Vern Rehe 21-17
Men’s pairs quarter-finals
Michael Rose/John Snell d John Cobden/Robert Ormesher 23-3
Neil Stevens/Michael O’Brien d Michael Whitty/Arthur Parker 13-8
Ray Arnold/Phil Gude d Piers Lielmons/Alby Ashleigh 19-2
Ron Eckhardt/Rodney Fletcher d Phil Godkin/Barry Anset 16-9
Men’s pairs semi-finals
Michael Rose/John Snell d Neil Stevens/Michael O’Brien 19-5
Ron Eckhardt/Rodney Fletcher d Ray Arnold/Phil Gude 16-10
Men’s pairs final
Ron Eckhardt/Rodney Fletcher d Michael Rose/John Snell 16-10
Women’s singles semi-finals
Kerry Ralph d Adele Ryan 21-8
Ann Power d Joan Moss 21-17
Women’s singles final
Kerry Ralph d Ann Power 21-19
Women’s pairs final
Pam Wakeford/Carole Klop d Adele Ryan/Kerry Ralph 17-10