Unlikely duo claim autumn bowls title

GREG Baxter and Allen Sullivan had never played a game of bowls together before Monday.

Yesterday they walked away as winners from the autumn classic pairs tournament after going through the three-day competition undefeated. 

After playing four games on both Monday and Tuesday, and two semi-finals yesterday, the pair had won nine and drawn another. 

They won the grand final against Warrnambool friends Macka Elliss and Tom Pemberton, 16 shots to 8. 

Sullivan is from Hamilton and Baxter a bowler at the Warrnambool Bowls Club. The pairing came about after Sullivan’s partner had to pull out of the tournament due to illness. 

“The Warrnambool Bowls Club were kind enough to arrange a fill-in for me,” he said. 

“We’ve never played together before, so to go through without dropping a game is a bit of a surprise.

“We just bowled really well together.” 

Baxter said the pair had some close matches across the tournament. 

“There were a couple of games where there was only one or two shots in it,” he said. 

“We had a bit of luck on our side as well — you’ve got to have a bit of luck in this game.” 

The pair said Tuesday’s constant rain made conditions tough. 

Runners-up Elliss and Pemberton said they had competed in the competition for the “past couple of years”. 

“We’re mates,” Pemberton said. 

“Macka bowls at City Memorial and I’m at Warrnambool but we play this tournament together. It would have been nice to go one better, but we got out-bowled in the last game. They bowled really well.” 

The autumn classic continues today and runs through until Saturday with a fours competition. 

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