MOIRA Cooknell thought her bowls season was nearing its end when she took a surprise call from City Memorial selectors a month ago.
The third-year Western District Bowls Division Tuesday pennant player had spent the summer as a lead to Helen Kelly in City Memorial Blue.
But illness had forced a counterpart in finals-bound City Memorial Gold to relinquish their spot with just three matches left before finals.
Selectors wanted Cooknell to fill the void as a lead to Denise Hillier and she was quick to accept the promotion.
“I was surprised, very much so, because there are a lot of good bowlers at the club,” she said yesterday.
“One of the selectors rang me up and said would I play in our Gold side and I said ‘sure’. At this time of year it’s pretty hard for selectors because people can be away.
“You have to go where you are told and be flexible.”
Her first match with City Memorial Gold was in round 12 against perennial rival Warrnambool Gold.
She has also taken on Timboon in round 14 and Terang in the first semi-final, with her rink winning twice and losing once in that time.
Her next challenge is today, when City Memorial Gold takes on Port Fairy Red in a last-chance division one preliminary final at Dennington.
Cooknell, an aged-care worker who grew up at Horsham before shifting to Kyabram and then Warrnambool, said she was glad she took up lawn bowls.
She played in a flag in her first season when City Memorial Pink won division two and has a chance to make it two in three seasons.
“I actually started playing bowls because my husband (Ray) has been a keen sportsman his whole life,” she said. “When he retired he couldn’t wait to play bowls and I thought I should tag along.”
She believed nerves would hit her before play started today, with a shot against Warrnambool Gold in the grand final on the line.
“You’re always pretty nervous. It’s good to be a bit nervous, you have to concentrate more.”
The WDBD Tuesday pennant divisions two and three preliminary finals are also at Dennington today.
In division two, Lawn Tennis Green takes on Koroit Orange, with the winner to meet Mortlake in the grand final. In division three, Warrnambool Red takes on Koroit Purple. Terang awaits the winner in the decider.