Merimbula’s lawn bowlers have claimed a historic double, winning state pennant titles in two grades.
The victorious Grade 2 and Grade 6 squads returned home late Monday night to a rapturous reception that was continuing well into Tuesday.
Both grades won their respective finals at the Bowls NSW State Pennant Championships played over the past few days.
For Grade 2’s Michael Wilks, the double victory tasted ever so sweet.
“This is massive for the club – to win two is incredible,” Wilks said at the Merimbula Bowling Club on Tuesday while team mates and club members celebrated in the background.
“I’ve played bowls at every level, I’ve skipped for my country and played with big clubs in Melbourne and Sydney – but this to me is the pinnacle of all I’ve done.
“But this is not just exciting for the 24 blokes who walked on to the greens, but for the heart and soul of the whole club.”
Merimbula celebrated its historic double state triumph in the biggest event of the year for pennant bowlers by beating St Johns Park 65-56 in the Grade 2 final at Ettalong, and Gulgong 64-44 in Grade 6 at Narrandera.
Warilla claimed the prestigious Grade 1 state pennant flag.
Wilks said his Grade 2 team “went a little bit outside the square” when preparing for this year’s state pennant titles.
Included in the training regime was joining in the very-popular Saturday morning social bowls!
“There has been a lot of work, for a lot of reward.
“We would’ve been stoked just to make a final, but of course you go away with high ambitions.
“To actually win two state pennants – and win them well – is a credit to the whole club.”
He said the support from the entire club and community – the people – was what made Merimbula “the greatest”.
“The whole organisation, right down the chain, I can confidently say this is the best club I’ve ever been involved in.
“It’s probably the greatest club in Australia,” a clearly excited Wilks said.
He singled out club CEO Damien Foley for his particular commitment to the sport of bowls in this region.
“Damien is second to none and the reason I’m here,” Wilks said.
“The things he’s done for this sport deserves recognition. It’s a credit to the whole club that Merimbula has just done what it did.”
Wilks said focus now shifts to the club’s ladies, who head off on their state title tilt in a fortnight.
“It would be amazing to add a ladies pennant on top!”
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