Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Historic day for Shepparton Park

Shepparton Park coach Mark Ryan is thrilled to bits after the Parkers won their first division one premiership in Goulburn Valley Bowls Division.

HANNAH DRISCOLL March 17, 2014 4:20am

Mark Ryan said he had ‘‘goosebumps’’ towards the end of the grand final yesterday as it became certain Shepparton Park would take home its first top-tier premiership.

In its nearly 10-year history, the Parkers had won three Saturday pennant premierships in Goulburn Valley Bowls Division, all in division three.

That collection vastly expanded after the weekend as it added division one and division two flags.

Ryan, who moved to Shepparton Park as coach after parting ways with Mooroopna following a premiership and grand final appearance, said he was ‘‘over the moon’’ with that achievement.

‘‘Just rapt for the club and it’s been a big year and expectations I guess too, people think, you’ve got a great side now with a few people coming from Mooroopna now, you’ve still got to do it,’’ Ryan said.

‘‘I never thought that the whole time I was there. I just thought just try and work with the people we had and build on them and build on them to make it.’’

Ryan knew a quarter of the way through the Parkers were battling and needed to change what they were doing quickly, including his own rink which dropped eight ends in a row after picking up five shots on the first end.

At the halfway point Shepparton Park was up by two shots overall.

‘‘I said to the guys, we’re two up now, and I don’t think we’re playing that good. We’re only halfway, I said if we start playing good we can win this and that’s what happened,’’ Ryan said.

‘‘Our rink started bowling good, Kris’ (Ferguson) rink started bowling good, and it was a snowball and it just felt like we were going to win from there on. It just felt our intensity went up and theirs dropped a little bit.’’

Kyabram skipper David Cartwright said Kyabram discussed the importance of a good lead early, but with one rink down badly he knew they could not keep Ryan and Ferguson down all day.

He believed Kyabram had the opportunity to develop players like Bill Hatzie, Darren Boswood and George Thornley this season, and more recruits next year would again strengthen the sides and put pressure on bowlers to improve in order to earn their spots.

He was confident Kyabram was in a position where it didn’t need to pay players, that people wanted to be involved, but said there might be other things it could change to try find improvement.

‘‘We believed even up until the last eight or nine ends we were right in it,’’ Cartwright said.

‘‘To get a win on that rink is self-satisfying on my behalf. He (Ryan) belted me up pretty early (in the season), I had a couple of new bowlers with me that game and he touched me up well and truly, so to draw the last shot to make sure we won that was pretty satisfying.

‘‘But it’s a game of pennant which is a team game, it’s not individuals. In the end it hurts, and if it doesn’t hurt you won’t try again next year.

‘‘We’ll be better next year, like I said the couple of players that were there this year, they’ll hurt from this and they should hurt.

‘‘If you don’t hurt you’re not going to get any better and you won’t train that two per cent harder or concentrate that 10 per cent longer and that could’ve been the difference.’’

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