2023 State Championships wrap up

by Team BV

Reflecting on the recent 2023 Victorian State Championships, there were just so many highlights. Players were blessed with fabulous weather and immaculate greens at Bendigo East Bowling Club, which led to some spectacular bowls.

Champion of Champions

We had our first back to back winner of the week with Cass Millerick taking the title for a second year, putting her just 1 win away from equalling Carla Krizanic’s hat-trick of 3 in a row! Special mention to Di Washfold who took out some big names before pushing Cass close in the final.

The Men’s Final was an outstanding affair, with Brenton Coad from Ballarat Highlands taking the crown on his return after a 5 year hiatus from the sport, beating the ever-consistent Josh Sanders in the Grand Final.


Young gun Olivia Cartwright continued her form into the Open event, becoming this year’s Women’s Singles Champion, after winning three U18 Girls Singles titles before she turned 18. Look out Nationals!

The Men’s Final was an all-time classic, with Matty O’Brien from Eastern Ranges adding to his recent Vic Open Men’s Pairs title, beating superstar Ali Forsyth in a nailbiter. Do yourself a favour and go and watch the last 8 ends again on replay via the BV Facebook page or YouTube channel (links below).


Recently named Victorian Bowler of the year, Ian Brimblecombe, showed why he earned that title, with a classy skip’s performance to take the Men’s Pairs title with Robert Mitchell. Despite being behind early, they dug deep to beat the two Simon’s (Cannington and Leon) from Sandbelt region.

The Women’s Pairs saw the first victory of the week for mother and daughter duo Sheryl and Sammy Atkinson, who defeated the evergreen Mary Tragardh and Jackaroo Kylie Whitehead, in a brilliant match that went down to the last end.


The Atkinson’s went on to add another title to their 2023 campaign, along with Maureen ‘Mo’ Leighton, claiming back to back honours in the Women’s Triples. They defeated Nicolle Wendt (who also went deep in the Women’s Singles) and her young gun team mates, Emilee Davies and Sophie Kurzman, in a tight tussle.

Continuing the family theme, the Father and Son pairing of David and Josh Cartwright, who teamed up with clubmate Brent Reiner, went on to take the Men’s Triples crown, after winning the semi-final in an extra end.


BV’s very own Josh ‘JT’ Thornton took out the Men’s Fours title on a thrilling last end, with Murray Downs clubmates Shorty McCaig, Buck Lehmann and John Caldwell. They defeated Pathway Jackaroo Tyson Cromie and his rink from Ocean Grove.

The 2021 National Women’s Fours winners of Claire Sanders, Laureen Smith, Anne Miles and Kylie Whitehead booked themselves another shot at the big prize, beating the rink from Ballarat Highlands.

Mixed Pairs

Strezelcki region had a great overall State Championships, finishing as the 2nd best performing Region just behind Bendigo Campaspe Goldfields, with Vinnie McIlwain and Kirsty Van den Hoff’s Mixed Pairs win forming an integral part of this achievement. They were fantastic in defeating the red-hot Olivia Cartwright and her partner Brad Campbell.