Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Barooga triumphant

Barooga team takes out Peaches and Cream bowls tournament in nailbiting grand final.

ROB HENSON April 9, 2014 3:17am

To the victors: Barooga Bowls Club's Gary Downie, Vin Toohey and Peter Russell took out first place in the Peaches and Cream Triples Bowls competition.


Barooga Bowls Club has emerged victorious from this year’s Peaches and Cream bowls tournament.

The Barooga-based team of Gary Downie, Vin Toohey and Peter Russell won 9-5 in the grand final of 10 ends, defeating the trio of Leeton’s Mark Vogel and Cobram’s John Anders and Greg Dunn.

Both captains were on point, going bowl for bowl in the first half of the two-bowls triples match up, with Downie’s side leading 6-2 after the fifth end.

The home side opened their lead, heading to 8-3 after the eighth.

In the thrilling last end, Russell opened up the head with a cunning deflection.

Toohey then appeared to have made the winning shot, threading the needle between two opposition bowls.

Vogel then took back the lead for Leeton/Cobram, converting one-down to three-up, potentially equalising and sending the game into elimination.

But Downie had other ideas, playing with just enough weight to carry the jack a couple of feet and confirming the win.

The captain said it was a thrilling final, especially considering he was a last-minute inclusion to the side.

‘‘It was pretty much an accident, I was a fill-in, I’ve never played this tournament before,’’ Downie said.

‘‘All three of us contributed equally throughout the tournament, especially today.

‘‘It was a real team effort and that’s what it’s all about.’’

Games were played at Cobram and Barooga greens from Monday to Wednesday, with 25 games per day and five games for each team.

The quarter, semis and grand finals kicked off Wednesday afternoon with $8400 on offer for placegetters.

More than 140 players formed into 48 teams, arriving from Portland to Leeton for the renowned tournament in its 29th year.

Tournament organiser Noel O’Brien said the tournament was originally devised as a way to attract tourism to the district.

‘‘Players, their wives or girlfriends come... we get people from all over, as far as Gippsland,’’ he said.

O’Brien thanked all volunteers involved in the extensive organisation of the tournament — a shared responsibility among Cobram and Barooga, with the locations for finals alternating each year.

‘‘There’s a committee of three from Barooga and three from Cobram, it’s a combined effort,’’ O’Brien said.

‘‘But all 144 players deserve congratulations, they really turned on some spectacular bowls day after day.’’

He thanked the 25-30 ladies catering, umpires, scoreboard attendants, bar staff and other volunteers.

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