Finch claims national indoor bowls title

“KING” Arthur Finch has added a second national singles titles to his decorated indoor bowls resume.

Arthur Finch in outdoor pennant bowls action for Timboon.    130302AS53

Arthur Finch in outdoor pennant bowls action for Timboon. 130302AS53

The Timboon bowler outlasted nine others to claim the top honour at the Australian Indoor Bias Bowls Championships at Mount Gambier.

He won eight of his nine matches, losing only to New South Wales’ Ian Ogilvie, during the six-day championships from August 25 to 30.

Finch was among four south-west bowlers who won their respective section as Victoria retained the Jack Gore Trophy for the best-performing state. Warrnambool’s Ian Lake was part of a successful mixed fours combination which won eight of its matches and lost the ninth by one shot.

Port Fairy’s Gill Phillips and Warrnambool’s Jacinta Marney were two-thirds of a women’s triples side which enjoyed seven wins and a draw.

And Ecklin’s Pam Wines skippered a women’s pairs side which had six wins and a draw, edging out the second Victorian side on percentage.

Victoria easily claimed its 11th Jack Gore Trophy, tallying 281 points to beat Tasmania (259) and New South Wales (189).

Victorian squad member Maureen Drennan said Finch, dubbed “King Arthur” after winning his first national title, was composed throughout the week.

“He was very casual and laid back, he doesn’t appear to get flustered, he takes everything in his stride, each game one at a time,” she said.

“You’re more likely to get success if you can keep a level head, not try to win all the time but to play well.”

Drennan said Victoria and Tasmania reaffirmed their dominance of indoor bowls at the national championships.

“It was a little bit different because the top two states, Victoria and Tasmania, had more points even though Victoria didn’t win by as much,” she said.

“The other states have dropped points. Tasmania and Victoria were almost level pegging for the first three days but on the last two days Victoria broke away.

“Our juniors were exceptionally good. The future for the four juniors that played looks very bright. 

“They’ve all got several years left before they’re too old.”

Among those juniors was Warrnambool teenager Liam Keegan, who won silver in the boys’ singles.

Kirkstall’s Brian Lenehan and Colac’s Harvey Robbins united as half of a men’s fours combination which also won silver.

Port Fairy’s Sue Gavin, Camperdown’s Maria van Someren and Colac’s Jeanette Robbins claimed bronze in the women’s fours.

Koroit’s Nicole Collins (women’s triples), Koroit’s Shane Cashill (mixed pairs) and Woolsthorpe’s George Draffen (men’s triples) also won bronze. Warrnambool will host the national championships for the first time in 2015. 

Drennan said the week gave organisers an insight into how to run the event.

“We had a tremendous number of supporters who came over for a day or two or three,” she said.

“They’re very excited about the opportunity to have the 2015 championships in Warrnambool. They got a lot of valuable training in Mount Gambier.”

Meanwhile, Warrnambool and Heytesbury indoor bowls associations will send 24-member squads to an inter-region tournament in Echuca this weekend.

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