Living the fairytale
Queensland’s 2014 Champion of Club Champion singles champs Debbie Logan from Mt Gravatt and Harold Whitman from Springwood strike a blow for great unsung club bowlers. “If you don’t believe in fairy-tales, well, you should now, what happened here today is an absolute miracle,” Queensland’s newest State Champion of Club Champions singles winner Harold Whitman (pictured far left) from Springwood said, in accepting his gold medal and winner’s cheque from BQ chairman Ron Chambers.
Women’s state singles champion for 2014 is Mt Gravatt bowler Debbie Logan (pictured far right), who bowled out the most credentialed adversary among Queensland’s group singles winners this year, Australian captain Lynsey Clarke.
“Stunned and excited, it’s the first time I’ve entered Champion of Club Champions and I made it through to the state titles in both the pairs and the singles,” Logan said.
“I never thought I’d get this far and to end up playing against Lynsey in the (singles) final, well, she always beats me…except for today!”
In fact, Clarke and Logan faced off against each other earlier this year at the Australian Open, in the fours final.
Clarke’s mixed side of Queensland and NSW stars took the title, but only after working hard against a little club four from Mt Gravatt, in which Debbie Logan played third.
“You are a big winner today, Debbie Logan, a deserving winner, this is the pinnacle, it was a great game and it’s a pity there could be only one winner,” BQ Match’s Colleen Ryan said, in announcing the finish.
It was Clarke’s fourth silver medal for the year and she would have liked gold.
“I played really well but I had one poor end towards the end, and Debbie finished well,” Clarke said.
“Another silver medal, my fourth for the year…”
(Clarke’s biggest silver this year was in Commonwealth Games triples in Glasgow!)
Logan was described as a “great club bowler” by her pairs and fours skip from Mt Gravatt, Christine Baxter, who was part of the Team Logan cheer squad today, along with Debbie’s husband Greg, a few enthusiastic club team-mates, and Debbie’s “lucky charm”, umpire Joan Brotherton.
(Joan was there when Debbie won at district and group level, so she had to be there today for her state finals appearance, and…Debbie won again!)
“Debbie is my best bowls buddy, she’s all about the club and what she can do to promote it, she’s fantastic,” Baxter said.
Harold Whitman was described as a “very very good winner” by BQ Match’s Ron Somerville.
“I know my limitations, I can be good, I can be awful, I’ve mostly just played social bowls, and then I won the club’s A singles, so I was in to Champion of Club Champions,” Whitman said.
Whitman has been a keen bowler since he retired as a Queensland Newspapers printer five years ago, and with wife of 42 years Jacky due to retire this year, they’re both hoping to play a bit more bowls.
“Harold is very humble, but I’m very excited for him, he has won a great event and I think he’ll look back on it and feel very chuffed,” Jacky said.
Whitman has his own techniques for success.
He doesn’t watch when the other player bowls, preferring to look anywhere else but on the green.
He stops himself picking up his next bowl until after his opponent’s bowl has come to a rest, otherwise he feels he rushes his play, which doesn’t suit his game.
“And I’d like to thank the green keeper!” Whitman told those assembled at his gold medal presentation.
“I came out here to Toombul a month ago to have a roll up and I had a chat, and I’d like to thank him for preparing a green I could bowl on!”
(Toombul’s obliging green keeper is Dan Nickson.)
Men’s runner up Andrew Waddell from Burleigh Heads was very happy for Harold, but just not real impressed with his own form today.
“I didn’t play well, perhaps I needed the wind to come back again?” Waddell said, considering he played blinders yesterday in blustery conditions.
“I’ll be taking a rest from bowls for a while now, I’ve got a beautiful little three year old daughter, Fiona, she’s keeping me busy.”
And if you were wondering about Harold’s handlebar moustache, he grew it for a ’70s night at Springwood Bowls Club back in June and decided to keep it as long as he kept winning at Champion of Club Champions.
“I said it’d be coming off if I lost today, now it’s under review,” Harold said.
The women’s final between Debbie Logan from Mt Gravatt and Lynsey Clarke from Club Helensvale was won by Debbie, 25-16.
The men’s final between Harold Whitman from Springwood and Andrew Waddell from Burleigh Heads was won by Harold, 25-11.
(Pics and score chase of today’s final on BQ’s Facebook page.)