Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Larcombe has terrific bowls year

City of Echuca bowler Melissa will play in the Australian Open in February in two disciplines.

GEORDIE COWAN December 26, 2012 12:00am

A host of district bowlers have qualified for events at the Australian Open, including City of Echuca’s (from back left) Veronica Kelly, Donna Clarke, Jan Morton; (front) Joan Tennent, Lachlan Jones (Melbourne Cricket Club) and Melissa Larcombe.

Bowler Melissa Larcombe will play in two disciplines at the Australian Open in February, but that is just one event among many in which she hopes to go far.

The skipper has had a tremendous couple of months, recording successes at club, division and state level — but she can still progress much further.

City of Echuca clubmate Veronica Kelly has been Larcombe’s primary partner through the dramatic run and will compete with her in the pairs and triples at the Australian Open, the Campaspe Valley Bowls Division triples and fours and the club champion of champion pairs, while also providing stern opposition in the club singles final.

The duo, along with triples teammate Jan Morton, qualified for the national competition after doing well at the recent Victorian Open.

‘‘It’s just as hard to qualify as it is to actually get in,’’ Larcombe said.

‘‘The Victorian Open is very difficult, so I am thrilled to get into two things.’’

Larcombe believes her and Kelly are as good a chance as anyone to win the pairs at the Australian Open.

The duo have had a terrific start to the season and the bowler sees no reason why their form cannot continue.

‘‘It’s been crazy,’’ she said of her already long list of achievements this year.

‘‘It is probably the most successful few months that I’ve ever had.

‘‘Everything has been a bit of a miracle.

‘‘But there is still a long way to go through to winning the finals of everything.

‘‘I think Ronny and I have got a really good chance, the way we’ve been bowling this year.

‘‘We’ve just got to be positive and hope for the best.’’

The bowler is also creating her own slice of division history and is a chance to head to the regionals in Bendigo playing in all four disciplines.

As well as the triples and fours — in which she has partnered with Kelly, Michelle Cunnington and Lyn Rogers — Larcombe also won the singles and will contest the pairs with Kelly in January.

‘‘If we get through that (the regionals), we will be in the last 16 of the state,’’ she said.

On top of everything else, Larcombe and Kelly also won the club pairs, while Larcombe triumphed in the club singles — against Kelly.

‘‘So far it has been an amazing year and hopefully we will continue on and win some state finals and do well at the Australian Open,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m incredibly proud of (what I’ve achieved)...because it’s a big achievement.

‘‘I’m amazed because our division has got so many good players in it.’’

Her husband, Craig, who is a new bowler, will also play in the regional triples finals, only adding to the excitement of the occasion.

Larcombe and her teammates’ success can also be enjoyed by City of Echuca Bowls Club, with it to have five current and former representatives at the Australian Open in Darebin.

Joan Tennent and Donna Clarke — who is moving to Queensland — will play in the singles after bowling well at the Victorian Open, joining Larcombe, Kelly and Morton.

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