Yeppoon girls came by train to the Big Smoke, SMOKING HOT, they’re going home with a state title. Ferny Grove runners up. Player of the 2014 Champion of Club Champion FOURS competition was without a doubt Yeppoon skip Eleanor Batts.
She and her unpretentious team mates came by train, it was “bloody uncomfortable”, and they felt like train wrecks in their first round clash against Emerald, which they lost by a whisker, 16-17.
“We woke up a bit by the second round and we did alright,” Elly said modestly.
“Alright:” meant a 30-12 smashing of Val Mahony’s North Toowoomba girls, but far from being out of sorts, the North Toowoomba girls became BFF with the Yeppoon girls, both country sides enjoying the cameraderie and bowls of a state titles playoff.
Skip Elly got plenty of attention for herself because she just couldn’t roll a bad bowl, but still, she hadn’t captured the attention of the masses…yet.
It was in Round 3 against title favourites Broadbeach that Elly became the most watched player of the tournament.
Pitched against a competitive, experienced side of state players and national champions, it would have been understandable and expected if the Yeppoon girls wilted under the pressure, but they stayed calm, and when they needed saving, well, Elly did her thing.
Yeppoon sprinted away from Broadbeach, 4-2 (3rd), 7-3 (5th), 10-3 (7th), 13-4 (9th)… and the cat was among the pigeons!
Suddenly everyone was looking at the Broadbeach-Yeppoon game, which had been dismissed as a bit of a foregone conclusion for the Gold Coast Tweed champs.
The BQ Match number crunchers did the numbers again, realising the underdogs Yeppoon could unseat Broadbeach from the top of the Section Two ladder, and go through to the final, if Yeppoon won by a margin of six or more…
At this stage…Yeppoon had opened up a margin of nine.
The bowls kept falling their way, or rather, Elly kept placing them with uncanny knack, and not just Elly, her whole team played bowls worthy of a state final.
The score mounted in Yeppoon’s favour, 15-5 (11th), 16-7 (13th), 19-7 (15th), 20-10 (17th), 23-10 (19th), and finishing with FOUR SHOTS on the final end, to turf Broadbeach out of finals contention, 27-11.
Yeppoon was holding three, Chrissie Pavlov at third tried to kill the end for Broadbeach and failed, and her skip Sue McKenzie tried to kill the end, and also failed.
“Put the last bowl in your pocket,” the crowd roared, but Elly had to put the final nail in the coffin, playing to take the shot bowl, after all that, she finished the whole game by placing her own bowl closer to the jack than anyone else, for Yeppoon to win the final end by four shots, and win the game that would take them through to the state final, 27-11.
“I hope they go on to win, they outplayed us from woe to go, great team effort,” Broadbeach skip Sue McKenzie said.
But did Yeppoon have the stamina to follow on, and play another round of exceptional bowls against Section One winner Ferny Grove?
“Well I know I do,” Elly said in her gravelly voice, “Not sure about the other girls, but I reckon we’ll be right.”
“I’m shaking,” said Yeppoon third Lorraine Young, at her first-ever state titles.
“I’m exhausted,” said Sandra Simpson, Yeppoon’s number 2.
But do it again Yeppoon did, not as easy as their win over Broadbeach, and what a final it was, shot for shot, end for end.
The crowd secretly expected the Ferny Grove girls to prevail, but how many lives did Yeppoon have, they kept coming back, and they well deserved their state title win.
(Match report – Queensland Bowler magazine, November issue.)
Suffice to say, it looked like the Yeppoon champs had exhausted all their chances on the Broadbeach match, with Ferny Grove romping away to a 6-1 lead after four ends.
But blow me down, turn your back, and Yeppoon’s got five shots on the fifth end, to level the score 6-6.
The girls in green from Ferny Grove bounced back, taking four shots on the ninth end, to open up a margin, 11-8, and then another five shots on the 15th end, to widen the margin to 17-13.
But no woe is me cries from Yeppoon, they simply took four on the 16th end, to level the score again, 17-17.
The last five ends were excruciating to watch, both sides playing controlled, determined, inspired bowls, well worthy of a final.
The grounds at Toombul were packed, as the men’s final had already finished, and everyone wanted to see the outcome of this gladatorial effort in the women’s final.
It was 19-19 on the 19th end, then Yeppoon got two on the 20th end, to go into the final end, 21-19.
Ferny Grove were holding three shots, all they needed to win, possibly even four shots, with only the skips to play.
“C’mon ‘Poon!” the Yeppoon supporters called.
(Sue Carmichael was going nuts on BQ Facebook, urging her girls on from afar, willing them to win!)
“No pressure, Elly!”, the chant went up.
Elly bowled first and her great placement reduced the Ferny Grove margin to two, a happy effort.
Ferny Grove skip Sue Bond went for placement also, to no avail, Ferny Grove still held two, enough to draw, but not tp win.
Elly went for placement again, and in fact, achieved second draw.
Now Yeppoon would win the 2014 State Champion of Club Champion WOMEN’S FOURS title, unless Sue Bond could dislodge a Yeppoon bowl on her last bowl…
Sue was unable to make a difference, and Yeppoon were worthy winners, after an amazing final, where either side could have won, and either side would have deserved to win, the socre 21-20 to Yeppoon after 21 ends.
Click here for results CoCC_draw ladies 4’s
Congratulations to Hamilton boys and Yeppon girls, worthy champion of club champion fours winners in 2014.