Jackway, Bowles are Warrnambool's best

CITY Memorial bowler Tim Jackway and his Warrnambool counterpart Kellie Bowles are Western District Bowls Division’s new champions.

Jackway and Bowles claimed their respective champion of champions titles with convincing displays at the Warrnambool Bowls Club yesterday.

Jackway defeated Terang’s John Keane 25-17 in a semi-final before beating Warrnambool’s Barry Crimmin 25-18 in the final.

Bowles was more dominant, beating Timboon’s June Hallyburton 25-2 in her semi-final and Port Fairy’s Gill Phillips 25-15 in the final.

The pair will represent the WDBD at West Coast Region finals next weekend at a Corangamite Bowls Division venue.

But officials are likely to reschedule the women’s event because Bowles is contesting the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Jackway, 53, said he was fortunate to claim the title after facing two high-quality opponents.

“(Keane) was in front early. It was 11-all at one stage and 15-all at one stage,”he said.

“I was just a little bit steadier than him at the finish.

“This afternoon I started well against Barry (for) the first four or five ends, I had him under a fair bit of pressure because I was getting them close.

“I kicked away to six or seven in front. I was able to hold that most of the way through the game.”

Jackway became champion of champions for the first time at his third attempt.

He said he was pleased to triumph because “they’re hard to win, these events, because everyone wants to win them”.

“I feel like I did what I had to. I was fairly steady under pressure and if I was ever three or four down, I was trying to draw a close bowl to cut the numbers down,” he said.

“Conditions aren’t easy on this green. The wind was gusty. This green slows down as the game goes on, so that makes it tricky.”

Bowles, 39, was crowned champion of champions for the second time.

She said she handled the pressure of the day well.

“But it’s always very difficult playing at your home club, because there are so many good bowlers sitting around the green evaluating what you do,” she said.

Bowles welcomed the advice of two in-game coaches — her Saturday pennant skipper Paul O’Donnell in the semi-final and Neil Crisp in the final.

“If you’re struggling a bit, I find it useful personally to say ‘am I doing the right thing? Should I swap over? Am I thinking this completely wrong?’,” she said. “It’s good having that person to reaffirm what you’re thinking.

“This morning I thought I drove quite well, which put a bit of doubt in their mind, whether to put bowls behind or what not.

“This afternoon was a little bit tricky. The wind changed a bit, so things changed. I hung in there and plugged away and tried to be as consistent as I can.”

Bowles will team with Colac’s Rebecca McMahon in the Australian Open pairs. She will also play triples with McMahon and Hamilton’s Robyn Thomassen.

They qualified by reaching the quarter-finals at the Victorian Open at Shepparton in November.

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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