Day 2 – 2018 State Champions Week

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Women’s Triples – Final: Gayle Edwards (Altona BC) v Mary Tragardh (Yackandandah BC)

Men’s Singles – Last 16: Jay Bye-Norris (Essendon BC) v Matthew Ellul (Melbourne BC)

Family should come first, and families should always come through for each other. 

The Edwards family made both statements true at Bendigo East Bowling Club on Day 2 of State Champions Week, with an unforgettable and emotional State women’s triples final victory. 

Mum Gayle Edwards, and daughters Brooke Edwards and Shelley Allen, trailed the Ovens & Murray trio of Kylie Whitehead, Kerri Leask and Mary Tragardh by two shots going into the final end, 12-10, and were at least one down in the head. 

The last shot was skip Gayle’s. 

For Gayle and Brooke Edwards, state championships and big tournament wins are no stranger. Both are State players. Both have plenty of big title wins. The other daughter and sibling Blaine is also a State player, and regular big event winner. 

But Shelley hadn’t yet tasted success in a State championship. As Gayle Edwards went back to the mat for the last shot of the game, that was what was running through her head. 

She and second Brooke had run through the options of how to change things up. It wasn’t looking great. It needed the big shot. A shot worthy of the occasion.
 

Shelley had taken a seat, too nervous to stand up. The shot her mother delivered was a winner, scattering bowls around to her team’s advantage – turning certain defeat into the most emphatic of victories. 
 

Tears flowed, there were hugs, disbelief, and the realisation that Shelley too was a State champion after a 13-12 win for the ages. 

“The only thought I had was to win this for my eldest daughter Shelley. She’s never won anything, and now she’s got her title. That was all that was going through my head,” Gayle told Bowls Victoria after the match. 

“Any rattle up there was going to do it. I prayed and hoped for the best.” 

Flashback three hours earlier, and the Edwards clan looked like they wouldn’t even be playing the final. They trailed by 12 shots in the semi-final against Kerry Watts, Janine Roberts and skip Michelle Tait of City Oval BC in Central Victoria. 

But they turned around a hopeless position to win that match 13-12. Next stop was the first of 15 State championships to be decided during 2018 State Champions Week. It’s arguable there’ll be a more emotional one. 

In the men’s fours final also decided on Day 2, Essendon four Jordan Yates, Darren Burgess, Jay Bye-Norris and Anthony Flapper were in irresistible form against a Shepparton Golf four skipped by Col Power. They powered out to a 20-shot lead early in the match, and a 31-6 victory not needing the regulation 18 ends. 
 

In the men’s State singles, Essendon’s Norris put himself on route towards a possible second State title in 2018, as he won a power match-up against Victorian State rep Matty Ellul (Melbourne) in the round of 16. 

Women’s triples fixtures
Women’s triples results
Men’s fours fixtures
Men’s fours results
Men’s State singles fixtures
Men’s State singles results
Women’s Champion of Champion singles fixtures
Women’s Champion of Champion singles results