The Albury and District Bowling Association pennant season commences this weekend. The Border Mail’s Beau Greenway takes a close look at each club’s chances in the grade three competition.
After bowing out in last year’s semi-finals, Lavington has thrown its hat into the ring by welcoming a host of quality bowlers.
Defending champions North Albury have added Holbrook star Duane Crow to the fold and have the ability to go all the way again.
Last season: 5th
Gains: Matt Hensel, Gordon Finlayson
Losses: John Pumpa, Scott Lee, Braden Saddler, Brodie Hall
Club comment: Brian Watson – “We’re struggling like all small clubs. It’s hard to get people interested. I think we’ll field two teams, but only just. We’ve got to cause a few upsets and we’ll give it our best shot.”
Player to watch: Terry Hensel – The reigning Albury and District Bowler of the Year made it all the way to the state pairs playoffs in Sydney with teammate Daryl Lawson last year.
Last season: 3rd
Gains: Kerry Boyle
Club comment: Gary Kern – “The goal would be get into the finals. North Albury and Lavington will be the big contenders for sure. Primarily, our big aim is to improve our away games and I think we can do that.”
Player to watch: Peter Forck – One of the district’s most consistent bowlers, a regular at the business end of Albury and District events.
Last season: Grade four champions
Gains: Trevor Lucas
Losses: Duane Crow (North Albury), John Humphries (Tumut)
Club comment: Gavin Jones – “We’ll be reasonably competitive. We were in grade three two years ago and went down to grade four where we won two premierships in-a-row and we’ve come back up again.”
Player to watch: Tom Papworth – Has previously represented Albury and District and has plenty of experience under his belt.
Last season: 2nd
Gains: Bill Davison (Corowa Civic)
Club comment: Jeff Brundell – “We had to drop a team this year in grade five, so we just haven’t got the depth we used to have. I think we’re going to be competitive, but it’s going to be tough to get through to the finals.”
Player to watch: John Dawson – A proven skip at both Ovens and Murray and Albury and District level. Skipped the only undefeated rink for Albury and District at the recent Bing Wallder Shield.
Last season: 4th
Gains: Klive Liverton (Chiltern), Darcy Burge (Geelong), Darryl Coventry (Commercial), Albert Critchlow (Rutherglen), Max Scanlan (Corowa Civic)
Club comment: Adrian Pantling – “It’s all an unknown really, we don’t know how we’re going to go. North Albury are still the ones to beat. The club is going really well, there’s a pretty good feel about it.”
Player to watch: Max Scanlan – The experienced Scanlan will skip a rink for Lavington this season.
Last season: 1st
Gains: Duane Crow (Holbrook)
Losses: Allen Ross
Club comment: Norm Honey – “Not much has changed with our side, the side that has changed the most is Lavington. I’d suggest they would be favourites.”
Player to watch: Duane Crow – Played for Zone 8 and is clearly one of the best skips in Albury and District. Will make an instant impact in North Albury’s top side.
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