Trio from Park makes mark

February 14, 2017

Three amigos: Glenn Thatcher, Dave Hardie and Denis Smyth combined to win the GV State Triples at Stanhope recently.

Shepparton Park trio Dave Hardie, Glenn Thatcher and Denis Smyth have booked their place in the Bowls Victoria State Championship week in April.

The triples team will represent the Central Goulburn Murray region at the championships in Bendigo after dominating the regional final 23-11 against Doug Larkin’s Wunghnu team.

Such was the Park veterans’ dominance, the mercy rule was imposed and the final end of the scheduled 18 was not played.

‘‘We got away to a pretty good start,’’ Hardie said.

‘‘I led well early and had a pause in the middle, but came home strong.’’

That ‘‘good start’’ was a modest description of the Goulburn Valley Bowls Division champions’ performance.

The trio established a 15-2 lead and, at one stage, the scoreboard read 20-5 before a change of tactics helped Larkin’s side put some respectability back into the match.

‘‘They got the mat and went short for a couple of ends and picked up two threes,’’ Hardie said.

‘‘But 11 was where they stayed after that.’’

Smyth’s side did not have to play a semi-final, drawing the bye for a direct path to the big dance.

Jean Sprague also collected a regional title in the women’s singles.

The Rushworth legend won her semi-final 25-16 over Seymour’s Alison Hall before prevailing 25-22 in a tight finale against Cobram’s Kerry Baldachino.

Sprague has the opportunity to qualify twice for a chance at state glory when she partners Barbara Rogerson in the women’s pairs regional finals on February 26.

In other results, Murray division’s Gary Downie and Jane Ritchie (Wunghnu) took out the mixed pairs, while teammate John McKenzie snared the men’s singles regional crown 25-21.

Kay Beare (Tocumwal Golf) claimed the women’s triples with support from Effie Eaton and Vicki Dowling.

Bendigo East bowling club will host the state championships from April 20 to 26, with the 16 Bowls Victoria regions competing in a knockout format.

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