Great Scott’s amazing year

ARON Sherriff - mentioned last week as being the only male bowler in history to win NSW state titles in all four disciplines in his career - has been upstaged by a remarkable performance at last week's women's state championships.

Natasha Scott (nee van Eldik), a 25-year-old Newcastle marketing manager, took out the singles, pairs and triples titles.

And she did it all in the one year - the 2015 series at Tuncurry. The three titles are added to the NSW fours she won first in 2011.

A big name in women's bowls since she was the baby in the Australian side at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Scott has since become a fixture in the team, winning a world triples title that year.

She was named Female Bowler of the Year at last week's Bowls Australia awards.

In this year's triples championship her team relegated long-time Australian star Karen Murphy's trio into runner-up spot.

The newly-introduced mixed pairs, run in conjunction with the women's titles, was won by Claire Turley and three times men's singles champ and current holder, Ray Pearse (Cabramatta).

Family matters

TROY Peel won the Evans Head club's major pairs championship this year with his dad Col, then followed it up by taking the mixed pairs title with his mum. As they say, the family that plays together stays together.

New birthplace

FORMER Australian chairman of selectors Charlie Frost, the only bowls administrator to ever make it into the Hall of Fame, keeps a close tab on what I write.

For years he's been a regular reader of the column. When Charlie speaks I listen. He rang during the week from his home down south to point out I recently gave Neil Burkett a new birthplace.

I said he was a New Zealander, when everybody knows he's a former South African international, now playing at Merrylands.

The 64-year-old Burkett first repped his country in 1972 and has won Commonwealth Games gold, silver and bronze for South Africa in a brilliant career.

Fresh look

I'VE dubbed it the best thing to happen to our game since they invented balls with bias. If you don't believe me, take a look at the Australian Premier League that started on television last night and runs until Friday - four hours each night for four nights.

It presents bowls with pizzazz, and has the world's best bowlers taking part in teams representing every Australian state and New Zealand.

This is one TV coverage that will win many who have never seen a game of bowls and imagine it's a stodgy sport for wrinklies.

Good read

ONE-time bowls commentator on TV, Ian Schuback has written a book he's titled, Bowls: Biased and Uncensored.

One reviewer says that whether you play or not, it's an intriguing, funny and informative look at what it takes to become a world champion in bowls.

Schooey picked up four world titles in his time, so he should know the right track to fame.

Money wasted

THERE was a rush a few years back to build big fancy clubhouses - poker machine palaces that with their glitz and glamour would induce more to gamble.

Many clubs overstretched themselves financially and this could be the reason for their problems today.

A bowler's letter to a national magazine in 1961 … more than half a century ago … was criticising the trend starting to appear.

A 'vast sum' of £45,000 ($90,000 in today's money) had been spent on a clubhouse.

"It is time club committees gave back to members some of the cash that has been pouring through the poker machines, and kept their feet more firmly on the ground when it comes to clubhouses," he wrote.

Many of today's clubs not only have put themselves in financial hot water but have lost the homey, welcoming atmosphere that was an attribute in days gone by when clubhouses often were little more than sheds.

Those sheds, though, were packed with people.

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