Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Premiership for Nhill bowls pennant

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Last Saturday at Coughlin Park the Wimmera Bowls playing area conducted their Saturday pennant grand finals, and it saw two Nhill teams competing for the ultimate prize.

The great news for the club was that the Div. 3 side (Blues) clinched their second premiership in three years by defeating Horsham City 3 by 12 shots. Unfortunately for the other Nhill team (Whites) competing in the Div. 2 grand final it was a close and heartbreaking loss by five shots to Horsham City 2.

In the Div. 3 final the Blues on two of the three rinks bounced out of the blocks and caught their opposition napping, and at the afternoon break had set up a commanding lead by 20 shots (47-27). Immediately after the break Horsham City 3 started to get their game going and began to peg back their deficit and it saw them get within 10 shots of the Blues. However, the Blues held firm, and despite some nail-biting ends the Blues didn’t flinch and held their nerve, and they ran out a deserving 12-shot (63-51) victors. Nhill won two rinks on the day, but the massive win (34-7) by Cheryl Merrett/Ian Marra/Ray Olney/Ron Beer set the tone for the Blues’ premiership. With one round to go in the home and away season Nhill scrambled into the fourth spot and to win three finals including the grand final, from that position is outstanding. Also to defeat the previously unbeaten Horsham City 3 in the grand final indicates that anything can happen in sports finals. Club President Jeff Fritsch and team manager Graeme “Boof” Dunford thanked all the players for their efforts including those who had played for the team during the year and that didn’t make the grand final team.

The Whites lost their Div. 2 grand final by an agonising five shots (66-71) to Horsham City 2. Unlike the Blues, the Whites got off to a slow start and trailed by between 10-15 shots for most of the day. A late rally saw the Whites get within five shots of their opponents, but unfortunately, that was as close as the team got. The Whites only winning rink (26-22) was by Trevor Merrett/Jeff Fritsch/Larry Bywaters/Pam Cramer. It was the second grand final defeat by five shots for the Whites in three years, having lost the 2020/2021 final to Sunnyside 2. The Whites had an excellent year and finished second on the ladder, and they should be commended for that, but congratulations must go to Horsham City 2 on their win.

After the game, bowlers from both Nhill teams and their partners and supporters returned to the Nhill clubhouse, where celebratory and/or commiseration drinks were enjoyed by all. The club would also like to sincerely thank Wimmera Roadways for providing a coach to help transport the teams plus their avid supporters down to Coughlin Park on the grand final day. Much appreciated by all.

Nhill Free Press & Kaniva Times 1 March 2023

This article appeared in the Nhill Free Press & Kaniva Times, 1 March 2023.


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