Shepparton hosting Victorian Country Cup tournament this long weekend.By Patrick O'Meara
Shepparton will look to get its hands on tenpin bowling’s holy grail as it hosts the Victorian Country Cup at the Star Bowl today.
A 14-strong team — seven men, seven women — will compete in the three-day tournament last year won by Geelong at Warrnambool.
Geelong had reigned supreme in the men’s division and claimed the overall gong after combining the results with the women’s division.
Shepparton claimed the women’s title, making it back-to-back successes.
Team member Melissa Thompson said the Shepparton outfits were confident of challenging for the cup.
‘‘We have a really good chance this year,’’ Thompson said.
‘‘The men particularly, are bowling very, very well and the ladies have been bowling well as well.
‘‘We are hoping the home centre advantage plays a role as well.’’
She said brothers Tim and Leigh Piastri would represent Shepparton together for the first time.
Tim has previously contested the cup, while it will be Leigh’s debut.
The entire team will have a strong family feel.
Kevin Wilkins will compete for the men with his son Chase as team manager.
Mother-daughter combination Denese and Kelly Jones will line up for the women.
And husband-and-wife duo Tim and Melissa Thompson will be in their respective divisions.
The event is the pinnacle of the tenpin bowling calendar, with venues rotated between the 10 participating regions.
Shepparton will take on Bendigo, Ballarat, Albury, Wodonga, Sunraysia, Latrobe Valley, Geelong, Colac and Warrnambool.
Thompson said she expected the reigning champs to feature strongly again.
‘‘Geelong will no doubt be up there again,’’ she said.
‘‘Geelong and Sunraysia are usually the teams that are right up there.
‘‘Latrobe Valley is another good one and Colac always give a good showing, too.
‘‘It should be a pretty good contest.’’
Today’s action starts from 7.30
Monday’s final day is expected to finish at 3
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