ONE of the Western District Playing Area's smaller clubs can lay claim to two of the best lawn bowlers in the district.
Timboon pair Arthur Finch and Fiona Newey won the men's and women's champion of champions finals respectively at Warrnambool Bowls Club on Sunday and will now progress to the regional stage in February.
Finch, 69, and Newey, 58, both became two-time winners at WDPA level.
Finch edged out City Memorial's Leigh Johnson and Newey defeated Warrnambool's Lynne Moloney.
Newey, who still works full-time in disability support in Colac, said it was a humbling result.
"I am stoked, very proud of myself, it's always hard and Lynne's just a fantastic, awesome person inside and out," she said.
"It's regionals next - it's just one bowl at a time, one end at a time until you get to the finish and that's all you can concentrate on."
Newey credited a holiday - meaning more time for practice - for her achievement.
The mother-of-two and grandmother-of-four, who plays leader in Timboon's weekend and midweek division one pennant sides, said her work was accommodating.
"I have to juggle bowls in between shifts and take annual leave days to play Tuesdays and Saturdays if I'm rostered on those days," she said.
"They're very understanding and allow me to do that. I bank all my rec leave and this month I am on holidays so it's been really good for my bowls to have lots of other events to play in other than just two pennant days."
Finch was surprised to defeat Paul Cameron on his home rink in Sunday morning's semi-finals.
He then carried that momentum through against Johnson, knowing at representative level "you have to concentrate to be in it".
"I didn't think I'd get to this spot again," Finch said of his win.
"To be in the final and have Fiona there too, it's unreal for Timboon because we're only a little club."
Staying active is important to Newey, whose family is immersed in the sporting scene including son Ben who is co-coaching Timboon Demons' senior football side in the Warrnambool and District league.
She often practises lawn bowls on a Friday night with her husband Phil.
"We have a little practice with one another and have a playoff for the last end and we always say 'this is for the championship' and he wins it nearly every time," she laughed.
Finch - a father-of-three - said his wife Di had also taken up bowls of late and "was very competitive" which was pleasing as was being able to enjoy the sport again.
"Just to be back playing after COVID. I've said a few times to people if it was 20 years ago when COVID happened and I was still milking cows I wouldn't have noticed much difference but the last two years where Di and I are at that age where we want to do what we want to do we haven't been able to do it, and that's travelling as well," he said.
"It feels like we've had a couple of years taken off us and just to get back playing bowls and catching up with your mates and going to tournaments, it's just so good to be doing it now."
Both Finch and Newey paid credited to their Timboon clubmates.
"Our players who came over to support us, they're brilliant," he said.
"We've only got a little club, there's probably 15 of them over here today and they have always done that which is tremendous.
"It means so much. If you have a bit of success and they're there to share it that's what it's about."
Newey encouraged anyone interested in playing to seek out the friendly club.
"Everyone has been there forever and we just need some new young ones but it's hard to recruit when everyone works," she said.
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