Finals hopes fade for Stanhope bowlers

Finals hopes fade for Stanhope bowlers

Before the 20-shot round 11 defeat, 11-81 (16-2), Stanhope remained in contention for the finals – although he faced a tough draw to finish the season with matches against three of the top four teams.

There are four rounds of home-and-away competition remaining, with Stanhope sitting sixth on the ladder – 37 points behind fourth-placed Shepparton Park.

In those final four weeks, Stanhope faces the team it must displace this weekend, Shepparton Park, before facing third-seeded Tallygaroopna, bottom team Mooroopna and Kyabram – a make-up due to the round nine washout – in the last week on 25 February.

The bottom four look in place, despite having a month to play, Shepparton Golf is still 16 pennant points clear at the top of the ladder despite losing its first match against second-placed Kyabram at the weekend has.

Tallygaroopna and Shepparton Park will have a big hole to fill to miss out on the finals.

The season produced its share of highlights for Stanhope, most notably captain Greg Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick, bowling with Austin Maxwell, Michael West and Barry Fletcher, beat Hilltop’s Paul Newman 33-30 on Saturday. His pitch was the only winner of the game.

The Stanhope skipper is ranked third in the competition, despite Stanhope being outside the top four, having won seven of his nine matches.

Lead bowler Maxwell is the second ranked leader in the GV division one competition and Barry Fletcher is fifth (six wins and two losses) of all third bowlers in the GV this season.

Hayden Crilly lost by just one shot on his course, but the stroke out on Ben Fletcher’s course – he lost by 22 shots – and the 10-shot defeat of Tim Hancock, turned the match in Tatura’s favour.

– Stanhope’s division three side, despite being second from bottom, are just 15 points outside the top four.

With three wins and six losses, he is just one win short of fourth-placed Mooroopna, who is showing signs of hope by running Nagambie to within 13 shots at the weekend.

Stanhope won two of the four rinks and eventually lost 85-98 (4-14), with Kenneth Hoppner and Brian Stokes both winning.

Hoppner (ranked ninth best in the competition) and Stokes (ranked 15th) are Stanhope’s two best bowlers this season in division three.

In the final four games of the season, Stanhope faces the team it needs to oust to reach the final, Mooroopna, before games against Shepparton Park (fifth), third-seeded Rushworth and, finally, bottom-placed Avenel.

– Kyabram teenager Olivia Cartwright claimed the Campaspe Playing Area women’s singles state title two weeks ago, beating reigning champion Sandra Connolly in a 25-12 scoreline.

Moama Steamers coach and decorated Scottish lawn bowler Kevin Anderson was the 2022-23 Campaspe men’s singles champion. He dominated compatriot Peter Campbell in the final, winning 25-6 to claim the crown.

Anderson won the Campaspe Champion of Champions title at Mathoura last weekend, beating Deniliquin’s Jamie Shields 25-11 in the final.

Anderson’s fiancée, Cass Millerick, won the women’s final against Rich River’s Liz Easther 25-18.

Tongala’s Bernadette Tinning lost in the quarter-finals of the competition.

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