Alstonville bowlers take on big guns at state championships
HER club may be among the minnows of the State Open Fours Championships but Jan Speechley is talking a very tough game.
Speechley and her Alstonville Women's Bowling Club side will rub shoulders with some of the country's best players at next month's tournament.
Among those in opposition at the event will be Cabramatta and Australian representative Karen Murphy, a former world champion.
Although she said it would be the first time any of Alstonville players had competed at state level, Speechley was undaunted by the challenge ahead.
"I suppose the bigger they come, the harder they fall," she said with a laugh.
"I think it all depends on how we play on the day. If we play how I know we can, then we can achieve something.
'I think it doesn't really matter how we go as long as enjoy it and play well.
"I think we are all proud of what we have achieved and we are looking forward to it."
Sixteen teams representing zones across the district will take part in the event at Forster-Tuncurry.
The Alstonville combination, comprising Speechley, Amanda Marron, Betty Jones and skipper Judy Scotcher, earned its place after coming through earlier district and regional tournaments.
Speechley said strong camaraderie was behind the success of the team, which is believed to be the first from the club to reach state level in the tournament.
"I think we have a good rapport with each other," Speechley said.
"We respect each other and we all have the desire to achieve success."
The 74-year-old has been a member of the club for five years after moving to Alstonville from her native South Coast.
"I think this club is the best in the district," she said. "It has beautiful greens.
"I play bowls for the enjoyment and the people you meet.
"At carnivals you make friendships with people from other clubs. It's wonderful.
"I am really looking forward to it."