2021 State Champions Week Underway

by Melanie Allen

Day 2 of State Champions week saw some high quality close matches on all rinks, ending with the first of our finals and medal presentations.

Off the back of his 2019/20 State Champion of Champions Singles title, earned in Warrnambool earlier this year, Rhys Jeffs (West Coast) was still in fine form and took out Michael Coram (Strzelecki) during the live streamed Men’s Singles Quarter Final 25 – 19.

At the same time another thriller was taking place between Nathan Murray (Yarra) and Jay Bye-Norris (Eastern Ranges). In a hard fought, shot for shot game, Murray killed an end at 23 – 24 down, and picked up a shot to tie it up at 24 a piece. With Bye-Norris holding, Murray killed another end to eventually take the win 25 – 24.

Yarra Region’s Nathan Murray.

But the best was saved for last today with both the Men’s and Women’s Fours Finals playing out side by side under the lights, with both results coming down to the wire.

The Strzelecki ladies from Leongatha (Angela Hackett, Susan Symmons, Nicole McKenzie, Jenny Miller (s) were in it all the way. But Ovens & Murray’s Claire Sanders, Laureen Smith and Anne Miles, under the leadership of skip Kylie Whitehead, proved too strong and the O & M ladies won themselves a state title 17 – 15. The spectators were right behind both teams and it was a final played in great spirits by incredibly talented bowlers.

Ovens & Murray’s Kylie Whitehead (s), Anne Miles, Laureen Smith and Claire Sanders (Ovens & Murray Bowls Region).

Over to the Men’s Fours and ‘The Grovers’ (Craig Rippon, Callum Hanna, Michael West and Matt Flapper – Geelong) were chasing all game after Bye-Norris and his Rangers (Ben Simmons, Colin Veenendaal, Andrew Dalli & Jay Bye-Norris – Eastern Ranges) picked up a 7 on the 8th end. They then led until end 16 when Geelong returned the favour and picked up a 7 of their own, finally turning the game around. Geelong went into the 17th end up 19 – 17. Picking up a 4 on the final end sealed the deal for last year’s runners up and the boys couldn’t have been happier.

Header image: Michael West, Callum Hanna, Craig Rippon and Matt Flapper (Geelong Bowls Region).