New Zealand legend Peter Belliss adds another title to his resume as the Yours Magazine Over 60’s Pairs wrap up
The newly established titles of Yours Magazine Over-60’s Men’s and Women’s Pairs have been crowned at the 2016 Australian Open, where Therese Hastings (WA) and Faye Luke (SA), and New Zealanders’ Colin Lowery and Peter Belliss took home the Women’s and Men’s respectively discipline as well as the $5,000 prize purse. The newly established titles of Yours Magazine Over-60’s Men’s and Women’s Pairs have been crowned at the 2016 Australian Open, where Therese Hastings (WA) and Faye Luke (SA), and New Zealanders’ Colin Lowery and Peter Belliss took home the Women’s and Men’s respectively discipline as well as the $5,000 prize purse.
Hastings and Luke have swapped their coaches hats for playing, defeating New Zealanders Wendy Mackie and Reen Stratford 18-15 in what was a nail-biting comeback from the duo.
“I’m feeling some disbelief, but also so excited, so proud, and it’s just wonderful playing with my buddy,” said Luke.
Hastings and Luke began their match in full force, leading 4-0 in the first three ends although this was short-lived as Mackie and Stratford came fighting back in fine form, leading by the twelfth end with a 7 shot advantage, 6-13.
Yet Hastings and Luke brought their masterclass skills back to the green, gaining a four and a five in consecutive ends to bring their total to 17-13.
“I think I found my delivery and gave her some bowls at the head,” said Luke.
“Then we did push up some bowls rather than them just doing the pushing, and then we were in a dead draw.”
“We got lucky too,” said Hastings.
“We thought we’d play in the Over-60’s just to get a game.”
“Then we started to win a few games and thought ‘oh this is alright; wouldn’t it be good to be out on the big stage at the end’.”
Hastings emphasises the importance of having a great lead in your pairs team, which sometimes makes the difference between winning and losing an end.
“In six bowl pairs, if your lead puts two there, you’re going to have a really good chance of winning the end, so you know, it’s all down to Faye,” said Hastings.
“So, if we had lost, it would have been her fault too!”
“But I have been so lucky to play with such a great buddy.”
The Over-60’s Men’s Pairs champions Colin Lowery and bowls legend Peter Bellis defeated New South Welshmen Jon Townsend and Bill Wiltshire, 18-8 to add another title to Belliss’ endless resume.
“It’s always a really good feeling in a final, it doesn’t matter what event it is, and the Australian Open Over-60’s has a bit of prestige to it,” said Belliss, who many would say is the best bowler New Zealand has ever produced.
“It’s a holiday to come over here for us and a bonus to play some bowls, and an extra bonus to do well.”
Once the Kiwi pair started, there was no stopping them, gaining four shots in the ninth end to really set their path to victory off, 9-4.
The momentum built kept the pair going, increasing their lead almost every end until the conclusion of the game.
“It’s the game of bowls, there are twists and turns, sometimes they work in your favour, and sometimes they don’t,” said Belliss.
“We built a bit of pressure, and that pressure stayed throughout the game, and at some stage you will be rewarded for that.”
“Teams do come back, but we were just getting too many bowls.”
Reflecting on the journey of their final’s campaign, Belliss can name a number of challenges brought by the elite-level of competition found at the 2016 Australian Open.
“There was a number of tight games in which we got away in the end, and even this morning’s semi-final, we lead comfortably and they got within three with one to play, so we could have easily lost that as well,” said Belliss.