Newsletter. January 2019.
What a year 2019 is turning out to be for the Elmwood Park Bowling Club – and we haven’t even finished the month of January.
The weekend rained centre titles on us as club members dominated the finals weekend by hauling in six championships and two runners- up finishes.
At one stage on Sunday afternoon, four finals rinks had Elmwood Park uniforms featuring out of six rinks and even had two Elmwood Park teams fighting out for one title. It was heady stuff and great to see so many Elmwood Park supporters giving their heroes plenty of encouragement.
Every winner gave a championship performance but possibly none more-so than the women’s pairing of Mary Ann Johnstone and Joyce McKinnel, who had an unlikely hurdle in playing New Zealand rep. Tayla Bruce and her national development squad partner, Cait Basssett, Burnside, in the women’s pairs final on Saturday. Both Mary Ann and Joyce are in the middle of outstanding seasons at interclub level but few onlookers at the start of the game would have expected the outcome. From the time Joyce delivered the first jack, she and Mary Ann totally creamed their nationally ranked opponents, racing away to a magnificent 20 – 5 landslide. Their success was what ignited, perhaps, Elmwood Park’s greatest ever title haul at a Centre Finals.
The Sunday didn’t start as well as hoped for. After storming back from a considerable deficit midway through the men’s 3 x 4 pennants semi against Parklands on their home rinks on Saturday, when the very strong teams skipped by John Mears, Rodney Greaney and Gary Lawson won all three clashes.
Elmwood Park looked forward to a similar effort against fellow finalists, Burnside. Simply things didn’t go to plan and, with Burnside probably playing above expectations and our guys possibly falling a little below par, Burnside edged ahead in the final count.
But, in the afternoon session, the finals categorically belonged to the players wearing Elmwood Park shirts.
On the TV rink, Chris Kibblewhite and her team of Fiona Frew and Theresa Woodham, dominated their Burnside opponents, again skipped by Black Jack Tayla Bruce, from the outset and never relented until the finish. With Theresa setting the standards with a top lead’s performance, Fiona and Chris added the finishing touches to score an emphatic 16 – 10 win. This means that Chris has been rewarded for a great first season with the club by winning her first centre title.
Two rinks down the track, Paul McKinnel and Pam Phair were doing likewise; the only trouble being that it was another Elmwood Park pairing of Bev Morel and Jason Dunn who were bearing the brunt of the assault. That’s right, two Elmwood Park teams reached the mixed pairs final, so it was always assured we were going to win that one! In the end, Paul and President Pam got home first, 10 – 7.
Then it was over to the totally men’s clashes where Elmwood Park’s Rodney Greany has been the most impressive male bowler at the entire finals weekend. Skipping with great authority, Rodney led mates Ian Rule and Stephen Ditfort to a fantastic 18 – 5 drubbing of yet another very strong Burnside team.
Three more of our top men, John Mears, Bruce Humphreys and Don Baker were in similarly dominating form, thrashing Halswell by 18 – 4, all playing immaculate bowls, as we’ve come to expect from this trio in the men’s over 60 triples.
Then to top off Elmwood Park’s almost total control of the finals weekend, the already celebrating earlier winners were able to take their drinks out to the final rink to cheer on Bruce Humphreys, who bagged his second title in beating Halswell’s Phil Austin, 21 – 15 in a very competitive 8’s singles final.
So, here it is. Look at these results and fill a glass to celebrate the outstanding results.
Centre Women’s Pairs.
Elmwood Park’s Mary Ann Johnstone & Joyce McKinnel v Burnside’s Tayla Bruce & Cait Bassett. Elmwood Park won 20 – 5
GH Healthcare Over 60’s Triples.
Elmwood Park’s John Mears, Bruce Humphreys & Don Baker v Halswell’s Rex Carpinter, John Connolly & John Topham. Elmwood Park won 18 – 4
Elmwood Park’s Paul McKinnel & Pam Phair v Elmwood Park’s Bev Morel & Jason Dunn. Elmwood Park’s Paul McKinnel & Pam Phair won 10 – 7
Men’s Under 8’s Singles.
Bruce Humphreys v Phil Austin, Halswell. Bruce Humphreys won 21 – 15
Men’s 3 x 4 Pennants.
Elmwood Park v Burnside Burnside won 18 – 16, 19 – 15, 16 – 18 with a winning aggregate 53 – 49
Just before Christmas, Elmwood Park also totally dominated all other club in the vet’s mixed pairs and triples competitions, not only bringing the club more prestigious titles but some very welcome income. Elmwood Park’s overall depth was shown in the vets’ double pair’s finals day, when three Elmwood Park teams started in the semis and two of our teams competed for the final. This was also the case in the vets’ double triples. Not only did Elmwood Park enjoy total success and our players earned an amazing $1500 for these two competitions. In fact the club successes this season have been of considerable benefit financially. The men’s 3 x 4 pennants won $500 for their runners up finish, the women’s 2×4 pennants won $400 by winning their grade, the women’s Div 2 pennants won $100 and the women’s Rountree Cup team added $200 to the haul.
Sure, the club pays entry fees for all our competitions but these successes have more than doubled these costs.