Most of us are missing our bowling but spare a thought for those whose season highlight is the dramatic presentation of the Most Valuable Player award. Due to the virus lockdown, Presentation Night was not held and there was no nailbiting anticipation as the presenter declared “with just 6 rounds to go the race for most valuable player looked like this … then came unlucky round 13 and our erstwhile leader was panned by rinkmates and opponents alike …“.
But wait! there’s a 2020 Presentation Night Report for all of us to digest in the safety of our own homes. True you’ll not be able to relive the tense drama of the contest for most valuable player but there are a couple of player ranking tables based on the match ‘exit polls’. Other sections of the report, which are arguably more concrete, sum up both the club’s winter and summer pennant performances while the final section contains a roll call of those who have triumphed in this season’s Club Championships. Enjoy!
The metropolitan pennant season is once again coming to an end. Sectional play is complete and just one of our five sides has made finals – congratulations to weekend pennant Side 1. See our competitions page for links to the final standings for each of our sides. Midweek sides struggled this season following the loss of several top players but both narrowly avoided relegation and achieved some notable wins along the way. With newer players refreshing their ranks, the weekend sides fared better and all had at least some chance of making finals with a couple of rounds to go. The highlight was Side 1 who were in the four for most of the season. Some results, however, did not go as hoped and our fourth place finish leaves us facing an away semi-final at Bentleigh. Strong support at the away venue could make all the difference so members are encouraged to make the trip to Bentleigh on Saturday to support our players.
This year we have an opportunity to support two club members in the final eight of the Sandbelt Ladies’ Champion of Champions competition. These quarter finals will take place at 9:00am on Sunday Feb 16 at Hampton Bowls Club. Both Kylie Murphy, our Ladies’ Champion, and Heather Brodie, Ladies’ Champion at RMGC but a dual member at our club, have reached the quarter final stage. Unfortunately the opportunity to support both players will be somewhat limited as they are playing each other! That does mean, however, that one of them will still be competing at the semi-final stage, which is scheduled for 12:00 noon at the same venue. Congratulations to both for their success so far.
You know it’s a close measure between two bowls when the marker can’t call it, the players can’t agree it and a string measure can’t determine it. This was what happened on the very last end of this year’s Ladies’ Singles Championship final. Sal Rayner clearly had shot but needed two for the win, while Chris Greenhatch was hoping that she held second shot in order to keep her hopes of a comeback alive. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts by the marker to measure for second shot the umpire was called. He duly arrived at the head with trammel and calipers in hand. After much careful positioning and adjustment of the measurement tools the spectators’ patience was rewarded – the closer bowl was indicated and it was Sal’s. We therefore congratulate her on becoming this year’s Ladies’ Singles Champion.
This year’s Club Singles Championship saw a final of the highest quality played between Wayne Gill and Athi Singh. Spectators were treated to an entertaining and hard fought contest of high quality draw bowling. The win could easily have gone either way up until the very last end. Congratulations, however, go to Wayne Gill, our new Club Champion, who finally prevailed after a gripping 27 ends.
It’s that time of the year again, when the Stellar Victorian Open causes a hiatus in pennant competition. Many members take the opportunity to enjoy a break but three of our members joined over 1800 other bowlers in entering the Vic Open, playing in both singles and pairs. Well done particularly to Jimmy on his fine run in the singles against top class opponents. He won both his sectional matches, one subsequent knockout match and was close in losing the match to determine who would progress to the last 64.
Good luck on Saturday to our only Winter Pennant semifinal representatives. Side 2 have been able to secure a semifinal place as a result of 3 consecutive wins. Our Div 1 and Div 4 sides both finished in seventh place on their respective ladders and will see no finals action.
On Sunday 8th April the club hosted teams from several neighbouring clubs to participate in our longstanding invitational tournament, which was recently renamed the Rob Fairweather Invitational Fours. Once more the club excelled in its organization thanks to the efforts of numerous volunteers who ensured that the day ran smoothly. After 24 ends of highly competitive bowling the winning team turned out to be one of our own – congratulations to Sue, Norman, Bede and Wayne on their fine win.
On Tuesday a cadre of supporters arrived at Elsternwick Park to barrack for our midweek second side as they sought to win promotion to division 2. Sadly, despite the much appreciated support, our side was unable to replicate their previous week’s result against the same opponents at the same venue. A determined home side pulled away after the break and secured a comfortable win. This ends our only shot at glory in either pennant competition this season. We will need to regroup and reapply ourselves in preparation for the 2018/19 season.