Integrated Pairs 2018

by Team BV

Shepparton Park arm bowler Ross Higgins and rising star Max Goldsmith (Mulgrave Country Club) have teamed to take out the 2018 Bowls Victoria Integrated Pairs tournament. 
Higgins and Goldsmith triumphed in the event hosted at Berwick Bowling Club in Melbourne’s south-east and sponsored by Travelling Jack Bowling Supplies, winning a tournament which attracted a record number of entries.
Forty-seven pairs took part, up from 42 last year and 20 entries in the first year in 2012. The highlight was that this year included 10 new bowlers with a disability who had not previously taken part.
The tournament features pairs in which one must be a bowler with a disability. It’s a unique event which focuses on inclusion, with bowlers with a disability who enter are then able to team with a clubmate, friend or family member.
Higgins and Goldsmith defeated Leopold’s David Connell and Stuart Hedger in a thrilling final. Connell bowled brilliantly and took the score out to 4-1 heading into the fifth and final end. However some great bowls from lead Goldsmith set things up for Higgins to put another two in the count, and take four on the final end to win.
Higgins and Goldsmith were introduced to each other at the 2017 Steller Vic Open by Alison Meakin (also a member at Mulgrave) who played with Higgins in the Victorian State Side at last year’s Multi Bowl Nationals.
For Goldsmith, it was his second title win in the space of two months. He also won the Eastern Ranges Novice Singles Championship.
A number of bowlers went through sectional play undefeated, and the top four ranked pairs from the sectional play proceeded straight through to the quarter-finals.
Home club heroes Dave Warner and John Horwood made the most of their games finishing with +54 shot difference after three sectional games and proceeded along with Alison Meakin & Juan Tortosa, Janet Morrison & Kenny Pattison and Lindy Morris & Tim Morris.
The remaining eight section winners took part in a cut-throat two end playoff to determine which four teams would progress, before Higgins and Goldsmith’s eventual triumph. 
Berwick Bowling Club were outstanding. Bowls Victoria would like to especially Mark Walker, Jeff Janetski and Kay Crook, who were fantastic and made sure every detail was in place regarding the greens, the clubhouse, the catering and the service from all the volunteers from the club that were on hand to assist with umpiring, and anything else. 
Our sincere thanks also to tournament directors Claire Baskett and Mark Walker, Travelling Jack and Josie Lomagno for their continued sponsorship of the Integrated Pairs, and Bowls Victoria Director Lyn Baker for attending and assisting Travelling Jack’s Josie Lomagno with the presentations.
Thank you also to Bowls Victoria’s Disability Support Committee for their continued drive, passion and enthusiasm for creating more opportunities for bowlers with a disability in Victoria.