UPDATE: Alan Grubb is the last Yallourn player in the field, facing off against Brighton’s Graeme Spencer in today’s semi-finals.
Round of 16 results
ALAN FAWCETT Asquith NSW 14 lt NEVILLE RODDA Cheltenham 25
BRENDON BAKER Kurri Kurri NSW 25 d NEVILLE BROWN Heathmont 13
TRENTAN HEALY Belconnen ACT 25 d TONY SCHIAVELLO Bundoora RSL 15
GEORGE LAMBOS Yallourn 23 lt RAY McKAY Hamilton QLD 25
GRAEME SPENCER Brighton 25 d JOHN SNELL Lilydale 8
KEN CAPPER Yallourn 25 d GARY JOHNSON Warragul 14
ALAN GRUBB Yallourn 25 d DEAN DWYER Paynesville 12
RENEE McPHARLIN West Lakes SA 16 lt GARRY CHILCOTT Dromana 25
NEVILLE RODDA Cheltenham 18 lt BRENDON BAKER Kurri Kurri NSW 25
TRENTAN HEALEY Belconnen ACT 25 def RAY McKAY Hamilton QLD 20
GRAEME SPENCER Brighton 25 def KEN CAPPER Yallourn 21
ALAN GRUBB Yallourn 25 def GARRY CHILCOTT Dromana 22
BRENDON BAKER Kurri Kurri NSW v TRENTAN HEALEY Belconnen ACT
GRAEME SPENCER Brighton v ALAN GRUBB Yallourn
IN a curious twist of fate, the host club’s first ever Yallourn Classic Singles winner could be a past champion of the event.
Charlie Ward won the 2013 classic while bowling for Frankston, but has been playing in Yallourn colours since last May.
Ward dropped his opening match on Monday by one shot to Traralgon’s Ken Mooney, but edged out a seven shot win over Shelley Friedlander after being tied 17-all to take out his section in windy conditions on a slow green.
Ward – who prolonged his bowls career by dropping 60 plus kilograms and acquiring synthetic knees in recent years – said he was feeling fitter than ever in his quest for a second crown.
“I’m a lot fitter than I was last year trying to defend the title, I do a lot of swimming, gym work and walking so I feel quite confident of trying to give a good account of myself,” Ward said.
The Newborough resident said he would love to salute for his new home club, and while quietly confident admitted the odds were stacked against him in a quality field.
“It would probably mean lightning strikes twice in the same place,” he said.
Yallourn clubmates Peter Phillips, George Lambos and Allan Grubb also won through their sections to reach the knockout phase.
Another local bowler in fine form on Monday was Gary Johnson, who emerged victorious from a long tussle with former Yallourn bowler and Australian Open champion Lisa Phillips, before securing the section by beating John Taborsky of Clayton.
The Warragul player, who also made the round of 16 last year, said familiarity with the green was an advantage for Gippsland rollers in their efforts to topple some of the big names in the field.
“I like it here, I played here last year… I think it is an advantage and there’s quality players out there so you’ve got to be at your best all the time to win,” he said.
“Sometimes I struggle with consistency so I’ve got to keep bowling well and being consistent.”
Johnson said the allure of playing against the likes of former world champion Safuan Said, who was eliminated on Tuesday, and drawcards like Phillips was always a thrill, and an enduring feature of the classic.
“I play to get practice against those guys and learn a bit, so it’s good,” he said.
Phillip Burns of Merimbula showed his class to defeat Gary King of Karingal and Traralgon’s Maurice Sutcliffe by handsome margins.
Returning to the Yallourn after an encouraging display two years ago, the 43 year veteran of the sport said the event was appealing to interstaters for its character.
“It’s just a bit of prestige and I do a bit of a circuit of all money tournaments, never far out of it,” he said.
“It’s just such a friendly turn out (here), they’ve got breakfast for everybody, lovely meals, you name it.”
Other highlights in section play included 2014 runner up Graeme Spencer’s narrow escape against Tim Hill and subsequent section win over Drouin’s Paul McGrath.
Legendary Australian international John Snell (Lilydale) put the ‘stick’ to good use to overcome Traralgon young gun Vin McIlwain, before doing enough in a narrow loss to Jerome Coles to scrape through the section on countback.
A wily veteran of 80 years, Snell’s playing career of 55 years eclipsed the combined age of both his opponents.
Runner-up to Ward in 2013 Brendon Baker from Kurri Kurri advanced on Tuesday, along with leading disability bowler James Reynolds of Tathra.
South Australian bowler Renee McPharlin showed plenty of class to emerge through her section, and looked likely to make a deep run.
Dean Dwyer of Paynesville beat Malaysian gun Said to win his section on Tuesday in a huge upset.
The classic concludes today with semi-finals in the morning and the grand final this afternoon.