Classic win for Traralgon pair

DAVE Hodson and Neil Ellery, representing Traralgon RSL, won the Sale Men’s Classic Pairs event this week, defeating Sale’s Stephen Chalmer and Barry Stewart.

The prestigious tournament, which has been running almost every year since 1981, is a key event on the bowls calendar, with 42 teams from as far away as Tweed Heads, New South Wales, travelling for ranking points.

Organiser Leigh Bryant said there were some very good bowlers in the competition this year.

“There’s a fellow called Michael Wilks, who’s played for Victoria, a couple of other state players, and the teams that have won it the last few years are here again,” he said.

“We had no trouble filling this event, some people were disappointed they missed out, some of the better Melbourne teams didn’t make it.

“Because it’s a Bowls Victoria rankings event, it’s one of the few events with ranking points they can get points out of this for their total and go up to bigger events.”

Teams played five games of 14 ends, with the best team at the end of two days winning.

The Traralgon RSL and West Sale sides finished with 10 points, but the RSL team had a margin of 20 to take the win.

For many of the bowlers, it was also an opportunity to catch up with old friends.

Wilks, who plays for the Merimbula Bowling Club, said it was good to be able to return favours.

“(Sale Bowls Club) are very good supporters of ours, we hold a few tournaments up there, and a lot of the Sale boys come up, it’s a reciprocal thing,” he said.

Other players came down for a long weekend, enjoying the hospitality in Sale and seeing the sights, before playing against some of the state’s best competition.

Last year’s winner, Graeme Spencer from Caulfield Park, said as good as it was to get the ranking points, “sometimes it’s just nice having your name on the trophy”.

The women’s Classic Pairs event will begin on Friday, March 16. For more information phone 5143 0768 or 0419 882 792.