BPL Cup champs laud opportunity for country clubs

by Aidan Davis

2018 BPL Cup champions Narrabri from country New South Wales (NSW) have heaped praise on the event for its regional inclusivity.

The team, consisting of Graham Spence, Cameron Yates and Peter Hobday, travelled 97km to play the Preliminary Rounds of the competition at Gunnedah Services & Bowling Club in order to qualify for the Regional Finals.

The team then travelled 183km to play the Regional Finals at Inverell East Bowling Club to win their way through to the state finals which were held at Mt. Lewis Bowling Club.

From there, the team from Narrabri was one of two qualifying teams (the second team being Greg Keft’s team from Port City Bowling Club) to win their way to the National Finals and represent NSW at Club Pine Rivers in parallel to BPL08.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Peter Hobday saw the different format and the opportunity to play more games outside of the existing competitions and against different opposition as a major attraction of the BPL Cup.

“I would encourage all bowlers to enter the BPL Cup. The round-robin format at regional and state qualifying levels allows the opportunity for more games and more chances to qualify. It’s fantastic that both qualifiers from NSW were from country clubs,” Peter said.

The story of the team from Narrabri is made even greater by the fact they nearly didn’t have an opportunity to qualify through the Preliminary Rounds.

Due to unexpected circumstances, the venue they had originally registered to play their Preliminary had to be cancelled and the team was then left looking for an alternative.

Gunnedah Services & Bowling Club then put their hands up to host and the journey to becoming national BPL Cup champions began.

“A great deal of thanks goes to Bowls Australia (BA) and their RBM program in going above and beyond to make games available to participants and get them played,” Peter added.

“It’s pleasing to know that BA has locally-based people out there to support clubs and players and be able to relate to local issues.”

Contribution by Craig Donaldson – Regional Bowls Manager (Northern NSW)