State champs show plenty of heart

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - SPORT -

TWO Al­fred Cove bowlers rode an im­pres­sive run of form all the way to the State Se­nior Pairs Cham­pi­onship ti­tle last month.

It has been a long time com­ing but Steve Hughes (Melville Bowl­ing Club) and Otto Daw­son (Man­ning Ea­gles) can fi­nally count State sil­ver­ware among their bowls achieve­ments af­ter beat­ing Os­borne Park pair Steve O’Neil and Grant Ni­col 16-11 in the grand fi­nal.

Hughes and Daw­son topped a field of 96 teams com­pet­ing for the cov­eted tro­phy and while most of their vic­to­ries ap­pear com­fort­able on pa­per, it was not all smooth sail­ing.

“We came across some very for­mi­da­ble teams play­ing on their home ground at Os­borne Park,” Daw­son said.

“From the quar­ter-fi­nals on­wards all of our games were against Os­borne Park teams and they were all qual­ity play­ers; State rep­re­sen­ta­tives and cer­tainly Premier League rep­re­sen­ta­tives.”

“We also had to change from a 16-se­cond green to an 18-se­cond green for the quar­ter-fi­nal, while the pair we were up against had played on the 18-se­cond green the pre­vi­ous game,” Hughes said.

“That was a chal­lenge to mod­ify our game and to stay com­pet­i­tive and it re­sulted in a very close game; we ac­tu­ally only won that game with the last two bowls.”

Hughes has been bowl­ing for the past 25 years, while Daw­son took up the game just over a decade ago.

“I had a mi­nor heart scare some years ago and the man­age­ment of my car­diac con­di­tion was such that I had to do a lot of ex­er­cise,” Daw­son said

“I stum­bled across a bowl­ing green one day and got roped into play­ing.

“That be­came my form of ex­er­cise and now I play four or five times a week all year.

“I get a lot of ex­er­cise but even more im­por­tantly I get the hap­pi­ness of meet­ing hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent peo­ple and I re­ally cher­ish the ca­ma­raderie and com­mu­nity spirit of the game.”

Hughes kept the hot streak go­ing to win his fifth Melville Bowl­ing Club sin­gles cham­pi­onship at the start of the month, equalling the record set by for­mer Aus­tralian rep­re­sen­ta­tive and na­tional coach Ge­off Oak­ley. He beat Ray Pozzi 25-8 in the fi­nal.

Josh Zimmerman

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d450968

State Se­nior Pairs cham­pi­ons Steve Hughes and Otto Daw­son.

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