COLLEEN Haberfield and Margaret Hoy grew up at Illowa and went to school together at nearby St Columba’s where netball and tennis were their preferred sports.
But today their friendship stretching more than 60 years will be tested when they find themselves on opposing City Memorial teams in a cut-throat Western District Bowls Division Tuesday pennant division one preliminary final.
Haberfield will play as a third for her City Memorial Gold skipper Denise Hillier while Hoy is a third for City Memorial Green skipper Karina Ellery.
There is a distinct possibility they could find themselves in direct combat should their rinks meet.
“It will be serious fun,” Hoy said yesterday.
The pair’s friendship has included bowls success in the past, qualifying for the state fours’ semi-finals among many highlights.
But today they know one of them will leave the Warrnambool Bowls Club disappointed, with the winner earning a spot in the grand final next week against Terang. It is the second consecutive year that both City Gold and Green have met in the preliminary final. Last year Gold scored a tense 13-shot win and then went on the following week to win its second consecutive pennant and 10th in 12 seasons.
Before last week’s shock loss to Terang, and Green’s equally surprising upset over Warrnambool Gold, City Gold was a firm favourite.
Hoy, who has been bowling for about 10 years, said her side was happy being the outsider.
“We are always the underdog, don’t mind it at all,” she said. Haberfield, a veteran of 12 grand final appearances, including eight wins, had a different take.
“I think we are both on an even par,” she said.
Despite Gold recording comfortable victories in their two clashes against Green this season, Haberfield said Green’s ousting of arch rival Warrnambool Gold showed her club mates were in good form.
“We had to be disappointed (last week),” Haberfield said.
“We didn’t go in there thinking we were going to win. Terang are always a very hard side to beat. I’m sure we could have played better.”
She said the club had hoped to have both sides playing in the grand final but after her side’s stumble, the clash had come a week earlier than planned.
For Hoy, her side’s form couldn’t have been better.
“We did our best — everything just clicked for us last week.”
In division two Lawn Tennis Green faces City Memorial Blue and in division three Timboon takes on Lawn Tennis Gold. All matches will be played at Warrnambool Bowls Club.