Vic Open 2022 Preview

by Team BV

Wow! We’ve made it.  

It will be 1092 days since our last Victorian Open, but we’re finally 1 day away from the start of the 10th Vic Open.

It’s been a long road to get here, and we can’t thank the City of Greater Shepperton, the Victorian State Government and our 22 Host Clubs enough for making this event a reality, in challenging circumstances. We also recognise the devastating floods that have occurred within the region and surrounding areas in the recent months, and hope this event provides an uplift for the Greater Shepparton and Goulburn Valley community. 

We can’t wait to see all the smiling faces of the wonderful bowls community converging on our Host Clubs from tomorrow.  

We’ve got some cracking players making the trip up, with none other than the ‘GOAT’, Alex Marshall MBE, lining up for his first tilt at a Victorian Open title. He’ll play all events, forming a formidable Mixed Pairs side with Victorian State Representative Cass Millerick, and he’ll then join Cass’s partner and BPL coach Kev Anderson in the Men’s Pairs.  

Australian Over 60’s representative Anne Miles, a previous Vic Medal winner and Claire Sanders, who was also recently announced in the Australian Over 60’s squad, will be looking to defend their 2019 Women’s Pairs title. In the Women’s Triples, they add Laureen Smith, with whom they won an Australian Fours title in 2021. 2019 Women’s Singles winner Anne Draffen will be back to defend her title, as will Fay Winther, Kerri Leask & Jody Nevill in the Women’s Triples. 

After recently notching up 400 appearances in the Big V, 2x previous Victorian Open winner Matt Flapper will bring his best, playing with State counterpart and previous Vic Medal winner Brad Orr in the Pairs. Flapper also partners with the young gun Cam Kennan and Koby Cromie in the Triples. Talking of the Cromie’s, brother Tyson, a member of the pathway Jackaroos squad, plays in what looks to be THE game of Sectional play at the VO. Tyson is joined by Matty’s Pairs partner Brad Orr, and City v Country representative Mason Bayliss from Wodonga in what promises to be a cracker.  

Blake Nairn, fresh from representing the Perth Suns in the recent BPL event plays in all events, teaming up VBL star Ben Winther in the Men’s Pairs, and adding in Victorian legend Nick McIntyre for the Triples.  

2019’s Vic Medallist Jay Bye-Norris will be in Shepparton, looking to defend his Men’s Singles title. He then teams up with good mate Vinnie McIlwain from Traralgon in the Men’s Pairs, then adds his Deer Park teammate Rick Orchard in the Triples.  

We have some notable inclusions from Interstate, with the legendary NSW pairing of Sharyn Renshaw and Beth Quinlan looking to represent NSW in their quest for success. Their Women’s Pairs game against Victorian U18’s Emilee Davies and Dusty Taylor-Irwin will be a must see.  

The highly decorated Nothern Territory representative Colleen Orr, herself a former National Champion of Champions, also makes the long trip down with her partner Barry, and will be looking to add a VO title to her accolades. As Victorians returning to their home-state, they’ll be keen to impress. 

You’ll also see some BV staff strutting their stuff, with Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist and Country Manager (North West Victoria) Josh Thornton showcasing his skills in the Men’s Singles, and newly minted Sandbelt Region Triples title holder and BV Communications and Marketing Manager Mel Allen playing in the pairs and Triples.  

Keep an eye out for Club Education and Training Manager Matt Ottobre teaming up with Lucas Protopapas (holder of multiple World and National titles) in the Men’s Pairs and Triples. 

We can’t wait to get the 2022 Vic Open underway tomorrow. The greens around the Region are full this afternoon with keen bowlers rolling up in preparation for the kick-off of the Mixed Pairs tomorrow. Be sure to follow our Facebook page for daily updates.