Ni­chols leads a nar­row win

The Tatura Guardian - - Sport - By Lau­ren Bordin

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.

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