A STRONG local line-up triumphed in the third annual MND Superchallenge at the Heathcote Bowls Club on Australia Day.
Club secretary Paul Mason was joined by Brett Mathieson and Tim Gleeson to take out the main trophy in the popular fundraising event for Motor Neurone Disease.
The Heathcote club’s highly successful MND bowls day, which began three years ago with a memorable 24-hour bowls marathon, this year raised more than $6000.
Australian pairs champion and Commonwealth Games team member Josh Thornton was a special guest player in the event and Bendigo MHR Lisa Chesters also made a guest appearance, briefly taking part in one of the teams as well as congratulating the club on its Australia Day activities.
A total of 18 teams took part in the innovative superchallenge, which was played over three one-hour sessions, with teams rotating positions and the non-bowlers playing as skippers in the final game.
The winning team — with former Heathcote football and cricket stalwart Tim Gleeson bowling as the non-pennant player — survived three games of 10 ends in hot conditions.
First prize was a carefully selected Heathcote dozen — 12 bottles of fine Heathcote Shiraz donated by local wineries for the event.
A highlight of the day was the innovative Grand Bowls event, which saw Heathcote bowler Glenn Saunders win an exciting final over clubmate Glen Wilkie.
In Grand Bowls, players paid for the privilege of bowling one bowl in a sudden death elimination over six rounds in an attempt to advance to the final.
Many tried and failed until there were just two players left.
Both Glenn Saunders and Glen Wilkie agreed before the final that whoever won would donate $500 of the $1000 prize to MND, a decision which brought a massive cheer from the crowd of onlookers.
It was, after all, a fundraising event.
The day was heavily supported by a wide range of businesses and individuals with dozens of prizes in the final raffle. The $1000 prize for Grand Bowls was provided by the very generous philanthropic group known as the Hindsight Club.
A special quilt, created by Kate Taylor and Judi Cunningham, raised more than $2000 through a separate raffle.