Kyabram Free Press

New era rolls out for bowls

- By Tyler Maher

The first delivery in earnest of the new era of lawn bowls in the Goulburn Valley will be sent down on October 9.

Formerly the Goulburn Valley Bowls Division, the maiden Goulburn Valley Playing Area — under the new Goulburn Murray Bowls Region banner — campaign will begin on the second Saturday of October when one of the eight divisions of weekend pennant action rolls off for the summer season.

A midweek pennant division will then begin the following Tuesday before all 14 divisions join in the fun on the next Saturday (16th) and Tuesday (19th) respective­ly.

The staggered start will allow weekend pennant division six south — made up of former Central Bowls Division clubs — and midweek pennant division four south, which also has six teams, to play 15 rounds and start finals at the same time as all the other 14-round divisions.

The last weekend pennant round before Christmas is slated for December 11, with the restart on January

15 and finals to be held on March 5, 12 and 19.

Spare days — which always seem to be needed either through rain, heat or COVID-19 — are scheduled for December 18 and February 26.

In the midweek ranks, December 14 and January 11 will bookend the holiday period for bowlers, with finals to be staged on March 8, 15 and 22.

No play is scheduled for Melbourne Cup day, with December 21 and March 1 also open as spare days for the competitio­n.

Notably, all weekend pennant deciders will be played on the same day, while the midweek pennant grand finals will land after them this summer.

Shepparton Park's division four south outfit in midweek pennant looks to be the only side with significan­tly more travel time than last season, while a Numurkah team will take to the GV rinks this campaign.

Katandra West has not entered a team in the GV Playing Area.

GMBR secretary Stephen Mcgregor praised the match committee efforts.

“Shepparton Park had two teams in division four north and one team had to go across to south to balance the divisions,” Mcgregor said.

“They were among the closest clubs and had two teams, so they were moved across.

“Numurkah had a number of players who did not want to play Friday pennant in the Murray and then back up on a Saturday, so they will enter a Tuesday team in the GV area.

“Some clubs might not be completely happy with where they are, but the match committee has done a power of work and a great job.

“This season is just about getting up and running and then next season's match committee can make any tweaks or changes if necessary to balance out the divisions.”

As previously confirmed, GVBD silverware — like the Allan Matheson and Edna Harling shields — will remain the ultimate prize for GV Playing Area bowlers. for its

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