‘‘Never give up until it’s over.’’ Rushworth’s Jean Sprague is a testament to her own words.By Hannah Driscoll
‘‘Never give up until it’s over.’’ Rushworth’s Jean Sprague is a testament to her own words.
Sprague won through to the state final of the Champion of Champions singles with a massive come-from-behind win at the Central Goulburn Murray regional final yesterday at Dookie.
Shepparton Park’s Col Power was not so fortunate, being beaten in the final after having the bye in the first round.
Sprague’s final win came after giving her supporters a scare.
She comfortably defeated Central Bowls Division champion Jan Cockerill, of Wallan, in the semi-final, 25-9, to advance to the final against Numurkah Golf’s Kay Hocking.
Hocking, the Murray Bowls Division champion, easily got the jump on her Goulburn Valley Bowls Division counterpart with a 7-0 lead from the first three ends before Sprague got on the board.
It was to get worse before it got better, as Sprague trailed 6-20 before making a move.
The Rushworth skipper said she ‘‘just lost the plot after lunch’’ and felt the greens, which had been measured at 14-and-a-half seconds in the morning, were even slower in the afternoon.
‘‘It had got slightly slower than in the morning .
She never doubted herself and fought back to win 25-22 with two shots on the final end.
‘‘I was 6-20 down, and then I got a four and a three and then I thought I might play bowls,’’ Sprague said.
‘‘She scored only two more after that and I got to 25.’’
Sprague said she felt she could fight back from the deficit, but her supporters’ nerves were tested as they watched their friend and teammate battle it out in the heat.
‘‘All the spectators were saying I was giving them a heart attack, well my spectators,’’ Sprague said.
‘‘I don’t know what they were on about. I think I just gave them their money’s worth.’’
Sprague will play in the State Champion of Champion final in Bendigo next month.
Unlike Sprague, Power only had one match yesterday with Berrigan’s Harry Kofoed and Alexandra’s Mark Simmons meeting in the semi-final.
Power played Simmons in the final, with the CBD champion winning, 25-15.
Power said he picked up two shots on the first end, but his opponent quickly got his line and length right and Power was soon about 3-13 down.
‘‘I’m very disappointed mainly in myself, but all credit to my opponent. He bowled extremely well and he handled the green really, really well,’’ he said.
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