The Norm Knopp shield saw Campaspe compete against representative teams from each of the Bendigo, Goulburn Valley and Murray bowls divisions.By Geordie Cowan
Campaspe Valley Bowls Division won its first Norm Knopp shield in seven years at Rich River on Sunday.
The annual tournament saw Campaspe compete against representative teams from each of the Bendigo, Goulburn Valley and Murray bowls divisions.
The shield came down to the last match of the day in the round-robin competition between Campaspe and Bendigo, with both teams on 15 points.
However, the home side produced a dramatic performance to trounce Bendigo, winning five-and-a-half of the six rinks and finishing 44 shots up.
Campaspe team manager Don Hicks said the team put in a tremendous effort to win the final match so convincingly.
‘‘Our boys bowled very well,’’ he said.
‘‘They were consistent throughout the whole day but exceeded their performance in the last game.
‘‘We usually have a tight tussle with Bendigo.
‘‘They consider themselves the best and to beat them by 44 shots is a remarkable effort from the boys.’’
Hicks paid tribute to Mick Humphreys and Michael Walker, who were the best performed skippers on the day with six points and +33 and +32 respectively.
The win also ensured Campaspe retained an overall lead in the shield, capturing its 17th title in the 46-year history, ahead of Bendigo (15), Goulburn Valley (12) and Murray (2).
Not all players were available to compete, but Campaspe chairman Charlie Pavone said ‘‘the blokes that filled the gaps played well’’.
‘‘Matt Liverton was our best skipper last year but was unavailable (this time), but Michael Walker filled the gap there,’’ Hicks said.
Hicks, who selected the team with Vern Rehe and Bob Philpot, will also manage the Bendigo-Campaspe team for which seven Campaspe bowlers were chosen, which will look to defend its title at the state championships in Horsham in January.
Final results: Campaspe Valley (26 points, +82 shots) 1, Murray Bowls (16, -26) 2, Bendigo District (16, -37) 3, Goulburn Valley (14, -19) 4.
Undefeated teams: Campaspe Valley (Barry Tinning, Ian Hunter, James McGillivray and Mick Humphreys (s), 3 wins, +33) 1; Campaspe Valley (Michael Walker (s), Chris Roberts, Jim Hogan and Sam Lyon, 3 wins, +32) 2; Murray bowls (Rod Brown, 3 wins, +7).
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