Echuca's Veronica Kelly has just wound up a remarkable eight days on the bowling greens.LUKE MCMANUS January 16, 2014 4:04am
Happily, Veronica Kelly labelled herself as ‘‘a glutton for punishment’’ following eight consecutive days on the bowling green.
On top of representing Victoria during last week’s Australian National Sides Championship in Adelaide, Kelly returned to help City of Echuca claim pennant honours on Friday, clinch her second Champion of Champions title at the weekend, before winning through to the state triples final on Monday.
A well-earned rest and Kelly’s marathon stint continues when she squares off in the Campaspe Valley state triples final tomorrow.
It has been a drawn-out schedule, one which has involved seven-straight days of competition under scorching temperatures, but given Kelly’s outstanding form of late, anyone can forgive the veteran for wanting to play ‘‘as often as I can’’.
‘‘I said to the (Victorian) girls, ‘I will either be in top form when I get back or I will be absolutely knackered’,’’ she said.
‘‘I’m really pleased with how I’m going at the moment. Four or five years ago, bowling that much and in the same heat, I would have thrown my hands up.
‘‘Even though I’m really uncomfortable at the time, I’ve learned to concentrate and stay focused, whereas before I’d just grizzle and moan.
‘‘I’m achieving results which I thought I’d never be able to achieve so I’m happy
Across three days of test match bowling, Kelly and her fours teammates Lisa Phillips (skip), Elise Cowan and Judy Davey were slow out of the blocks against South Australia, but bounced back nicely to record a 4-1 series victory.
It was Kelly’s second state cap, having made her debut against Tasmania in December, during a ‘‘cold, wet and interrupted’’ series loss at Clayton Bowls Club.
Despite the poor conditions and unfavourable result, Kelly produced a solid performance, earning immediate selection for the January 7 to 9 tournament.
‘‘The tests have been a great experience,’’ Kelly said.
‘‘It’s such a high level of competition. I get to see a different aspects of the game and the atmosphere and camaraderie within the Victorian side is special.
‘‘You have specialty coaches there. If they think you need advice or your technique needs finetuning, they’re not afraid to pull you aside and do that for you.
‘‘It’s given me a good insight, not only the physical aspect, but the psychological side of things.
‘‘It’s quite intimidating playing state but you need to learn to bowl without letting any disruptive elements creep into your game.’’
Kelly’s form suggests she is unburdened by the pressure of state honours, as selection for Victoria’s round four clash with NSW beckons.
In the meantime, Kelly will go about her business as usual, no matter how hot or busy her schedule is.
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