Nichols leads a narrow win
Daniel Nichols started off his campaign in charge of East Shepparton with the full support of his team allowing it to celebrate a narrow six-shot win against Hill Top.
In a tussle between two sides that have ambitions of making finals and trying to test themselves against the might of Kyabram and Shepparton Golf, East Shepparton claimed the chocolates in a 14-96 to 4-90 opening round victory in the Allan Matheson Shield.
Having most recently played at Nagambie, but previously been at East Shepparton, Nichols said his first match as coach went as expected.
‘‘It was pretty easy to be honest, I played at the club for five years before, so I know everyone there and they’ve welcomed me in with open arms,’’ he said.
‘‘Everyone was playing as a team and that was the main thing; we backed each other up and everyone was focused on the game which I feel got us over the line.’’
In the Goulburn Valley Bowls Division’s top tier encounter, East’s Scott Adams’ rink was pivotal in drawing out a 10-shot win against Charles Farrell.
But rather than building a gradual margin, the buffer skewed out late and was watched with delight by East Shepparton fans.
‘‘It was close up until the final ends and Allan Hueston (playing third) trailed the jack for five shots, and Scott added two more to make it to seven on the 23rd end,’’ Nichols said.
Nichols was also pleased with Ash Lawlor’s first performance in East Shepparton colours as he skipped his men to a four-shot win against Hill Top talent Jock Hicks.
‘‘Ash is great to play with; he’s a character and has a good positive attitude and is good to have at the club,’’ Nichols said.
The Hillbillies took away two rink victories from the match with former Shepparton Park skip Jarryd Tinning gaining a win in his first showing with Hill Top.
Tinning led Ray Sellwood, Paul Newman and Rodney Madill to a two-shot victory against Geoff Franze, while Murray Stark reigned supreme against Nichols.
Nichols said he hoped his side could take its solid form into next week’s match against frontrunners Kyabram and said Hill Top showed signs it would be no easy beat for the remainder of the season.
‘‘Hill Top looked like it’s going to be a tough team to beat. Ky and Shepp Golf are obviously the top teams to beat, but Hill Top, East Shepparton and Shepparton Park are definitely going to be up there,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ll still continue on with our team building in division one; we’re practicing every Tuesday night and taking every game as it comes.’’
Kyabram epitomised its new nickname of Power by pulverising Nagambie to start the year with a bang.
David Cartwright’s charges recorded a stunning scorecard with all four rinks accumulating 40 shots or more in the mammoth 18-172 to 0-62 beating.
Rob George showed no mercy to Lakers skip Rob Smith and he teamed up with Justin Spedding, Ross Coulston and Paul McInnes for a sensational 45-8 crushing.
Cartwright, Greg Shilling and Russell Locke did not evade their duty to the Power either.
Cartwright was never in doubt and romped to a 43-14 win against Rob Page, while Shilling defeated Greg Brack by 26 shots and Locke cruised past Jack Spencer.
Shepparton Park started its new era under Paul Nichols by saluting a 18-112 to 0-62 victory against Stanhope.
The new-look Parkers still had too much might for Stanhope with Denis Smyth registering the narrowest rink victory of two shots.
But Nichols finished 20 shots ahead of John Patterson with Ross Higgins and PaulWarren also in fine form in the move from the preseason to the important business.
Seymour and Shepparton Golf shared the points with their match a washout.
Record: David Cartwright charged the record for a stunning scorecard with all four rinks accumulating 40shots.