A weight was lifted off Finley Bowling Club’s Nan Smith, finally breaking through as the winner of the Murray Valley Bowls Ladies Champion of Champions.
Smith played at her absolute best when she was able to win the semi final and final both comfortably in Strathmerton on Sunday.
Smith won her semi final in the morning against Fiona Rourke from Katandra West 25 to 14.
She quickly followed up with a win in the final against Cobram bowler Kerry Baldacchino 25 to 17 to be crowned Champion of Champions for the first time.
She was cheered on by a small group of fellow Finley bowlers who ventured down for the day.
Smith said while it was the first time she’d won the event, she had been runner-up three times.
‘‘I said on Sunday I’m no longer the bridesmaid and finally the bride,’’ she said with a laugh.
‘‘I had a really good time, my opponent in the first game was a good friend.
‘‘I’m not sure where I beat her. She did win the first couple of ends but then I was able to run away from it.
‘‘In the second game I jumped to the early lead and then it was pretty even after that so it was good to hold on.
‘‘Kerry challenged me really well in the last few ends.
‘‘To come runner-up three times and now to win, I'm pretty happy and excited about it.’’
Smith will now compete in the Central Murray Champion of Champions in Seymour; with a date yet to be confirmed.
She said if she enjoys herself then she’ll be playing at her best.
‘‘I know it’ll be pretty nerve racking. I’ll need to go out there, relax, enjoy it and have fun,’’ Smith said..
‘‘I’m always nervous when I start but it does settle me down when I’m having fun, knowing I have nothing to lose and trying my best.’’
Finley Bowling Club’s Nan Smith (right) with opponent Kerry Baldacchino (left) and Murray Bowls president Marj McDonald (middle).