O60 State Carnival | Finals Wrap-Up

by Melanie Allen

What a way to wrap up the first O60 State Carnival!

The final day of the inaugural O60 State Carnival started with a bang, that bang being Nick Dawe’s last bowl in the Mixed Pairs semi-final, landing Frank Tarr’s shot bowl, to win through to the final with partner Carol Protopapas. Tarr and his lead, Jen Le Cerf from Ocean Grove, bowled brilliantly and were supported as always from the sidelines by the Grovers crew. No doubt there will be a few replays of that live streamed match being watched!

In the other semi, Vicki Smith and John Parker put the pressure on early and looked to be on the money, but opponents Janette Tinning and Mick Swan chipped away and found their form, winning the last six ends to power through to the final. The Tinning name may be familiar to some, as Janette is a third-generation bowler from Tongala, having grown up around bowls, watching her grandparents and parents play the game that she also loves.

Tinning/Swan took the lead early and hung onto it (just) for the whole match, with multiples scored on only two of the fifteen ends. There was brilliant draw bowling from both teams throughout the match. With two ends left to play, Protopapas/Dawe were down 10-6 but by no means out. Another shot to Tinning/Swan on end fourteen made that task a bit harder, and a few magic final bowls by Swan sealed the match.

Tinning was clearly overjoyed with the win, and commented that it was a shame that her parents weren’t there to watch. Her infamous Dad ‘Chooka’ Tinning, at ninety-two years of age, was out bowling today back home at Tongala, but at least the family will be able to relive the win with Jannette on the live stream replay in the days to come.

Over to the Women’s Pairs and Vicki Smith’s finals campaign wasn’t over yet, and after a short break after the Mixed Pairs she and partner Sheryl Atkinson took to the live stream rink for the Women’s Pairs final against Alison Hall and Denise Huender. With a bagful of Region and State titles amongst the four finalists, this one was always going to be a tough one.

The first Grand Final of the Carnival certainly didn’t disappoint, with all the spectators at CluBarham, plus the live stream audience, being treated to cliffhanger. Hall/Huender started strong, winning the first four ends to lead 6-0. But then Smith/Atkinson took it up a notch, winning the next six, to lead 12-6 after ten ends. They hung on to that lead until the final end, with Hall/Huender needing 5 shots to go to an extra end. Holding four and with a measure for 5th shot, it was looking like they may have just done it. Atkinson just needed something close for game with her final bowl. A pressure bowl, it looked good out of the hand, and with the crowd and commentators on the edge of their seats, it ran through a little further than planned, but the measure went their way and so did the title.

Two from two on the live stream with the first two matches coming down to the skips’ last bowls. We couldn’t have asked for two better finals on a Sunday morning.

Next was the Men’s Pairs final, between Mike Pearce & Stan Sliwinski and Warren Perris & Chris Young. Lots were looking forward to this clash with plenty of support from the sidelines for both pairs. But it was Perris/Young who stamped their authority on this one, winning nine of fifteen ends to take the Men’s Pairs State Title 14-9. It was an impressive carnival campaign by Sliwinski who also went deep in the Singles. But Young too has impressed all week and with one title under his belt, the Singles was next on his list.

Over to the Singles, and in the Women’s event it was Lynne Wood vs Linda Emmett, and straight after her Women’s Pairs medal presentation, Denise Huender then took on Robyn Thommasen in the other semi. While Thommasen’s performance was strong, an in-form Denise pulled away early and didn’t let up, securing her spot in the final with a 21-10 win.

Wood, a strong singles player with a great draw, got on it early and jumped out to a 6-0 lead and looked formidable. But Huender was a fierce competitor and didn’t back down, kept chipping away, and finally after twenty ends hit the front 17-16 after picking up a handy three. The following end was a battle, with shot after shot getting knocked out, and Wood drew a beauty to tie things up 17-17. But it was the perfect end and four brilliant  bowls from Huender to give her the game, and a gold to go with her silver.

Chris Young started his day with a Singles quarter final win over Numurkah’s Ross Higgins, then knocked out Michael Wilson in the semi, before heading back onto the green after his Men’s Pairs final win. His next opponent was Ray Jansen from Whittlesea, and while Young held the lead the entire match, Jansen kept the pressure on and looked like making a move at end twelve, picking up four shots over two ends and putting him within reach 13-11. But Young came straight back at him with a three on end fourteen. This didn’t deter Jansen, who proceeded to win the next four ends. But that’s where it ended, as Young put the foot down to claim his second title of the Carnival, winning 21-16.

To sum up the Carnival, in the words of Tony Lange from Webbcona, who was here all week with a group of mates, “it’s been a great event, a fantastic concept and we’ve loved it. We’ve already booked our accommodation for next year and we’ll be bringing another bunch with us, I reckon there’ll be forty of  us!”

The overwhelming response to this year’s Carnival and the positive experiences had here in Barham and the surrounding towns by all participants has confirmed that this event is heading in the right direction. In anticipation of numbers increasing significantly next year, we have allowed for an additional day in the schedule (TBC).

2025 O60 Carnival | 19th – 26th May, 2025 | CluBarham

We can’t sign off without thanking the dozens of volunteers based around all the host clubs who partipated with enthusiam and looked after competitors so well over the past seven days. We couldn’t have done it without you. The greens were sensational, the hospitality can’t be compared, and so many participants have said they can’t wait for next year! See you in 2025!

O60 Carnival results: https://bit.ly/BV2024O60Draw