Helensvale’s first overseas invitation
Eastbourne gets ready for the National Club 5 a side Challenge after becoming the first club in the event’s 11-year history to be included from outside Australia. (Pictured left: Eastbourne Eagles’ Philip Skoglund who will be joining New Zealand’s Gary Lawson, Jamie Hill, Justin Goodwin and club president Mike Carroll in their first attempt at cracking the National Club 5 a side Challenge.)
Excitement builds for the prestigious 2017 Helensvale $60,000 National Club 5 a side Challenge which kicks off on the Gold Coast from September 4-7, Helensvale has invited New Zealand’s Eastbourne Bowling Club to be one of 20 clubs in Australia to compete in the competition.
Eastbourne is the first club in the event’s 11-year history to be included from outside of Australia, the five best players irrespective of gender will represent each invited club in singles, pairs, triples and fours through three days of qualifying.
The top four teams will then play off in the semi-finals and final on day 4 for the $20,000 first place cheque and there will be prize money up for grabs for the best-performed players.
Eastbourne will field a strong lineup in the event which boasts a field of the highest quality. The indefatigable double world champion Gary Lawson will spearhead the side – the only player who wasn’t a part of this season’s National Interclub triumph.
Lawson comes aboard via the event’s marquee player allowance, whereby each club is permitted to include a player who is not a member of that participating club to further strengthen the quality of the field.
However, Lawson is usually a bona fide Eastbourne member, having been a part of the club’s previous two National Interclub victories in 2009 and as recently as 2016.
Jamie Hill, Justin Goodwin and Phil Skoglund Jnr are three of the remaining four members of the side and are all former New Zealand Commonwealth Games representatives with a vast amount of international experience and success.
Rounding up the lineup is Club President Mike Carroll, the heart and soul of the operation who wouldn’t look out of place in the Hurricanes front row.
Together with ex-President Scott Roddick who will act as team manager at Club Helensvale the two club stalwarts and Lower Hutt locals have been instrumental in the club’s ambitious initiatives over recent years.
Carroll says the club is excited about participating in the Helensvale 5 a side challenge.
“The roster we have put together for this event is very competitive and the lads are excited,” Carroll said.
“To even receive an invitation to play is an honour in itself, the club can feel proud of its achievements and inclusion in this event is recognition of those efforts.”
Prior to the event Eastbourne will face off against Queensland’s Premier League champions Broadbeach and will face Canadian master-blaster Ryan Bester in a practice match held at Broadbeach (September 2) and will feature in Musgrave Hill’s BPL Cup qualifier the following day (Sep 3).