Apprentice assumes the master’s mantel

THE magnitude of Andrew Taylor’s breakthrough Terang club championship victory is reflected in the man he beat.

Club stalwart Kevin Lee was chasing his 25th title when the pair went head-to-head on Sunday.

His wait to reach the quarter century will last at least another 12 months, with Taylor scoring a memorable 25-11 win.

The result epitomised the changing of the guard under way at Terang this Western District Bowls Division pennant season.

The club has promoted Taylor, who shifted from Melbourne to Terang four years ago, to skipper for the first time.

Lee plays as his third, while Charlie Duynhoven and Jim Whitehead have also relinquished skippering duties.

Taylor, 45, said he was honoured to beat Lee, who was his first skipper at the club and had been a mentor in the sport.

“Kevin won his first club title the year I was born. He’s won 24 of them,” he said.

“I came down and started as a second, bowled my first four seasons as a second and a lot of that was under Kevin.

“This year, because we’re blooding the young fellas, I’ve jumped from second to skip.” Taylor was a talented sportsman during his heyday, winning 14 state and nine national titles in a variety of sports.

A good mate, Ian Trickett, convinced him to try lawn bowls a decade ago. His initial reluctance gave way to a new-found passion.

Five seasons at Yarraville-Footscray preceded his shift to Terang, where he is into his fifth campaign.

“I was a bit of a wild character and a bloke threw me on the back of a motorcycle and said ‘you’re playing pennant bowls’,” Taylor said.

“I said ‘I’m not playing bowls, it’s an old folks’ game’. After that first game I was hooked. I had 50 bowls and bowled 40 of them within a foot of the jack. They said ‘how long have you been bowling for’ and I said ‘an hour-and-a half’.”

Taylor was a B grade and 100-up and pairs champion at Terang but had never claimed the singles crown until Sunday.

He opened up a seven-shot lead early in the encounter to set up the win. Lee challenged but never threatened to reel in the deficit.

In the Terang women’s club championship, Thelma Lackie claimed her first win with a 25-20 defeat of Bev Fleming.

Lackie, who joined the club in 2000 and also has a B grade title to her name, said she was excited to take the narrow in.

“I think we both played OK. There was nothing in the game, it could’ve tipped the scale either way,” she said.

“One would win a few ends, then the next would win a few ends and catch up. I get along with her fine.”

Lackie said she had little time to celebrate, rushing home with her husband to their Laang farm.

“We’re in the middle of doing harvesting. We run a bit of beef cattle. It was finish up there, come home and do a bit of hay-raking,” she said.

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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