PAKY 5000 – 2018
Pakenham’s premier two day lawn bowls tournament, the PAKY 5000, was conducted last weekend at the Pakenham Bowls Club. With over $5000 in prizemoney, this blue ribbon event attracts quality bowlers from near and far - for the second year in a row, one former Pakenham Div 1 Pennant player even flew in from Sydney.
No event of this nature can get off the ground without serious sponsorship and the club was fortunate to obtain major funding from local real estate agent Terri Fellows and Pakenham icon David Bull with local businesses Priceline Pharmacy, Sun Patrol Skin Cancer Clinic and Avan also making generous contributions. Prizes for the raffles conducted on each day of the tournament were also donated by local enterprises for which the club was extremely grateful.
The tournament consisted of seven games of two bowl triples, each of 12 ends, with four played on the Saturday and three on the Sunday. Day one provided ideal bowling conditions - bright and sunny (if perhaps a little cool) but with negligible wind and the greens were a sea of colour with a variety of uniforms and bowls (very few of which are black nowadays.)
As the day progressed, some of the more highly credentialed teams found that they were battling for a win and a few suffered unexpected defeats against lower rated teams who seemed to be punching above their weight. By the end of the day there were only three, four game winners – John Curtain’s composite Hastings/City of Frankston team were on top, followed by Vince McIlwain’s Traralgon trio with Trent Gribbon’s composite Pakenham/Coatsville/Caulfield Park team in third.
Day one was capped off with a free B-B-Q and a corner to corner shoot out, generously sponsored again this year by 21st Century. This “fun” event attracted a great deal of interest with many entrants attempting to qualify multiple bowls for the final, urged on by many uncomplimentory and unhelpful comments from the other competitors and spectators. In the end there were 11 players with nearly 30 bowls looking for the prizes. Gavin Wright of Cranbourne quickly grabbed first position with a bowl less than a foot from the jack and shortly after had another close one for second shot. Over twenty more bowls were delivered but with dusk closing in Gavin still held first and second shots and was quietly celebrating as club President Terry McRedmond sent down the final challenge. The crowd roared as Terry drew the shot and Gavin was consigned to second place – however he was quick to congratulate Terry and graciously accepted the minor prize.
Day two was unseasonably warm and as the sun rose higher, the wind began to pick up and conditions became somewhat trickier than they had been on Saturday. The pattern of highly rated teams losing to “battlers” continued, most notably with one Fifth Division Pakenham side beating a team of Div 1 players and another Div 2 Pakenham side knocking off a Premier Div side skipped by a former Australian and Victorian representative. Those two teams may not have won any prizes on the weekend but they did walk away with bragging rights.
However the three leaders continued to win until the last game where John Curtain’s rink was scheduled to play Vince McIlwain’s crew – obviously only one of them could finish the tournament as a seven game winner. And what a finish it was – Trent Gribbin’s team clearly won their last game (for seven wins) but the other two played out a draw! In accordance with the conditions of play, the two skippers were then required to play a one bowl shoot out to determine the outcome and it was Matt Ferrari who drew the shot.
Prizes were presented by Terry McRedmond, Chairman of the Bowls Section. Best first day winners (not due for a major prize) were David Ashby, Frank Seaton and Chris Hannaford while best second day prize was taken by Ray Travica and Lyn Quigg (Mulgrave Country Club) with a couple of ring-ins from Cranbourne (not all players available for day two.)
As a result of their clear seven wins, Trent Gribbin, Paul Van Der Byl and Peter Gribbin jumped from third place to the top of the leader board to take out first prize; in second place, also with seven wins were Vince McIlwain, Neville Brown and Matt Ferrari, while the overnight leaders John Curtain, Alan Ash and Mick Morgan were consigned to third.
Apart from a few minor teething problems the PAKY 5000 had again been a fantastic tournament, thanks to the generosity of the sponsors, to the competitors who turned up to play two great days of bowls in wonderful spirit, the organisers who spent countless hours putting it all together and the volunteers on the greens, in the kitchen, behind the bar and elsewhere behind the scenes who worked very hard to make it happen.
PAKY 5000 Winners (L to R) Peter Gribbin (L); Trent Gribbin (S) and Paul Van Der Byl (2)
Runners Up ...Vince McIlwain’s Rink
Third Place ...John Curtan’s Rink
Rink Action on Saturday & Sunday
John Curtain Looking For Win Seven
Colour on the Greens
Peter Gribbin Used His Bowling Arm
Ray Travica & Todd Simmons
Shoot Out Action Saturday Evening
One Angry Lyrebird (Traralgon)