Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Classic contest at Barooga

Yarrawonga pair take out popular bowls tournament hosted at Barooga and Tocumwal with $20,000 in prizes.

ROB HENSON June 11, 2014 3:45am

Winners: the Border Golf Bowls Club pair Michael Szabo and Les Spencer receive their $4000 first prize from Barooga Sports Club chief executive Greg Ryan.


A Border Golf Bowls Club pair has taken out the fourth annual $20000 Barooga Sports Classic Pairs held from Sunday, June 1 to Wednesday, June 4.

Michael Szabo and Les Spencer from Yarrawonga took out the $4000 top prize, while the St Kilda/Cobram combination of Dave Rickerby and Kerry Baldacchino was runner-up.

Tournament co-ordinator Archie Ellis said the 56 teams and 112 bowlers, each playing seven games, was a record turnout.

As well as the grand prizes, there was a $30 bonus for every game won during the event, as well as generous hospitality and catering.

‘‘We couldn’t keep them away this year. It’s as good as we’ve had, especially considering the late change in venues,’’ Ellis said.

Originally set to be run at Cobram and Barooga greens, Cobram was replaced by Tocumwal at the 11th hour due to rain.

Winner Michael Szabo said the competition was tough, with premier league and state champions among the entrants.

‘‘The people we played against were brilliant, great fun,’’ he said.

Remarkably, it was the first time Szabo and Spencer had played together.

‘‘I moved into Yarrawonga up from Melbourne and was looking for someone to play with. I took two days off work and ended up with $2000,’’ Szabo laughed.

Runner-up St Kilda’s Dave Rickerby said he came up to play at Cobram about three times a year and said the Classic Pairs was fun but ‘‘full on’’.

‘‘You’re playing about six hours of bowls each day,’’ Rickerby said.

The lead changed hands several times over the competition, but the Szabo/Spencer and Rickerby/Baldacchino pairs were the only teams to take seven wins from as many games.

‘‘We could have made first, there was only half a game in it. But at the same time if we had of lost, we could have gone down to eighth,’’ he said.

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