Warrnambool Ten Pin Bowling Association is aiming to strike down its country rivals in a bid to hoist its first outright Country Cup in 16 years.
In what is one of the most prestigious cups on the calendar, this year's tournament will be held in Warrnambool for the first time in a decade.
Going up against the likes of Shepparton, Geelong, Horsham and Latrobe Valley over the Labour Day weekend, Warrnambool Ten Pin Bowling Association president Scott Dennis is expecting competition to be intense between all 10 associations.
"This is the one all our bowlers are striving to qualify for," he said. "It's what we consider the ultimate."
Despite playing some top competition against metro-based teams in the Emerson Shield, Dennis said rivalries between country associations often proved fiercer.
"As country bowlers, there is those good rivalries that come up against the other country teams," he said. "Shepparton is one of ours, and Geelong and Colac are just down the road. It certainly holds more value."
Dennis will join son Sean, along with David Altmann, Jimmy Owen, Lachlan Campbell, Chris Pogson and Jason Gruar in Warrnambool's men's team.
Meanwhile, Trish Beasley, Sherene Sheen, Jo Fischer, Bec Dixon, Tennille Membery, Sue Hall and Sandie Rogitsch make up the seven-strong women's squad.
Though Warrnambool just missed out on the men's title last year after a roll off with Shepparton, Dennis said the association wouldn't put much stock on past efforts when play kicks off on Saturday.
"We've got some new bowlers in the team, so it's sort of a new feel," he said. "I think it's just a different challenge and we'll try and stay in the moment.
"If you look at all the teams coming down, I don't think you can say 'yep, there's the winner'; it's that close and competitive."
Playing 18 games over three days, with seven points on offer each match, the association with the most overall points wins the Country Cup. Cups for the winning men's and women's divisions are also on offer. Warrnambool last won the men's division in 2019, while the women triumphed in 2001.
Dennis encouraged those interested in watching quality bowling to come down and support the tournament.
"It's good for the centre to get the opportunity to host and for people in the area to come over and have a look at some of the best quality talent going around the state," he said.
"And it's good to have that home support behind you."
Play begins at Great Ocean Ten Pin Bowling on Saturday from 7am and runs through to Monday afternoon.
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