March Newsletter.

ELMWOOD PARK BOWLING CLUB. Newsletter: March, 2022

What a club we belong to.
For those of us lucky enough to be able to watch some of the club championship semi-finals and finals in recent weeks, we can only wonder at the immense quality of our top players in all competitions.
.
And heading the considerable bunch of “club super-stars” is Kelvin Scott. What a season he has had, on top of winning his second national singles title and being a finalist in the national pairs, Kelvin has won all Elmwood Park’s men’s club titles in a remarkable domination of our men’s game.
Last year, Elmwood Park produced New Zealand’s male Player of the Year in Lance Pascoe (now domiciled in Wellington) and, surely, Kelvin Scott must win the same trophy this year.
.
.
But, such was the quality and class shown in all our club finals this season, that any outsider would have considered many of these club clashes being as good as any centre title finals or even national finals.
As expected Kelvin won the men’s singles titles but, in winning both sides of the draw, he had to overcome really tough opposition from Nathan Glasson, Gary Lawson, Jonathan Flint and Jamie Wagner.
Unfortunately, the men’s teams championship were cast  a little into disarray by the injury to Lawson, with Gary’s teams having to rearrange because of his enforced withdrawal. The benefactor was this year’s newcomer to the club, Steve Bowden, who stood in for Lawson, showing very good form. Steve has been a real asset this season and we are lucky to have him in our ranks.
Scott skipped Bowden through the men’s pairs eliminations, again winning both sides of the draw by overcoming very tough teams skipped by Nathan Glasson and Ray Hooper.
Nathan then skipped the winning triples combination, with Kelvin and Ricky Cook at his side and the winning fours team again highlighted the same group, Nathan, Kelvin, Steve and Ricky.
Our own club historian guru and excellent website manager, Murray Scott, suggested that Kelvin may have been the first ever player to win all four club titles in one year but records show that Stephen Ditfort completed this feat in 2008 – 9.
.
.
.
.
The female equivalent to Scott was – you guessed it – Bev Morel. Also a national title winner in the pairs this season, Bev skipped the winning fours (Jan Shirley, Fiona Frew and Tania Woodham) and triples (Jan Shirley and Angela Boyd) to add to her countless collection of national, centre and club titles.
She and Fiona Frew couldn’t, however, stop two rival top club members, Pam Phair and Mary Ann Johnstone, from having a reasonably comfortable win in the women’s pairs final.
.
.
.
.
And, to wrap up this review of the season’s club finals is, maybe, the “doozey of them all”, the women’s singles clash between Tania Woodham and Fiona Frew, with Tania grabbing success in a nail-biting 21 – 20 thriller.
.
.
.
.
.
With all the covid and weather problems administrators have struck this season, there have been major disruptions to national tournaments which directly involve high flying Elmwood Park teams.
The club has been looking forward to seeing our excellent men’s and women’s sevens teams feature in the national inter-club finals. This has now been scrapped because of covid and Elmwood Park will now travel to Blenheim on April 9-10, to play in regional finals with qualifiers from Marlborough, Nelson, West Coast and Buller.
Following these regional finals, it is expected the zone winners will then play off at national level, probably early next season.
.
.
There have been major changes to the format of the televised Bowls3Fives series, in which Elmwood Park has been successfully involved in past series which have been run over several weeks. This year the matches will be played over one weekend, on May 6 – 8, with teams being reduced to three players.
.
.
Elmwood Park will be proudly represented by Gary Lawson, Kelvin Scott and Mandy Boyd. What a line-up – the club wishes you well in what should be a very exciting televised event.
.
.
.
.
Time is getting closer to the centre finals weekends and, once again, Elmwood Park is going to be well represented with very real hopes of further titles going our way.
The club triples have been completed and the women’s team of Bev Morel, Jan Shirley and Angela Boyd must be among the firm favourites in the Champion of Champions play-offs. The same could be said of Nathan Glasson, Kelvin Scott and Ricky Cook in the men’s section.
We are also expecting big things from our centre finals teams – Fiona Frew and Ian Rule in the mixed pairs, Bev Morel’s mixed fours combination, Gary Lawson’s men’s triples and Paul McKinnell’s men’s four. Good luck to you all and we expect there will be plenty of support from fellow club members at these events.
.
Editorial- opinion.
Now here’s a thought which is bound to meet with all kinds of reactions and one which counters the very traditions of bowls.
While club championships are an important part of any bowling club’s traditions, it does seem a bit strange to some of us (who have probably been more influenced by other team sports) that teams so stacked with the club’s top players, always share the spoils. To many of the more “ordinary” players in our ranks, it simply seems a waste of time to play against opposition lined with the best national and centre representatives we have in the club.
It seems that this is the way bowls has always worked but, should it be this way ?
Just a thought !