Age no barrier for Hahndorf pair
With a combined age of 170, a pair of Hahndorf bowlers have proved age is no barrier after progressing to the final 16 of the state men’s pairs competition.
Bill Robertson and Ron Bateman, both 85 years old, made it through the sectional and knockout rounds and will have the chance to qualify for the quarter finals if they can win their final 16 match.
Hahndorf Bowling Club secretary Val Deeble said everybody was “just so proud” of Bill and Ron.
“Ron has been bowling since 2004 and Bill has been bowling since 1991,” she said.
“They went in thinking let’s just have a go and both of them are astonished they have got to where they have.
“For the knockouts, they played at Lameroo and I drove them up there.
“The week before, my husband and his partner for the event drove them to the sectionals.”
Val said Ron and Bill put together a skillful display to progress through their first match of the knockout round.
“They got through the first round and they went into the knockouts and they played a Lameroo pair, who are apparently the two best players at Lameroo,” she said.
“They only let them get two ends the whole match, they got a one and a five on those ends, and our boys beat them 19-6.
“It was all draw bowling.”
Val said Ron and Bill, who play division two at Hahndorf, had to do it the hard way with a tough win in their second knockout match.
“In the second game they were again just draw bowling,” she said.
“Ron has got a bowling arm, so he has no problem with ditch to ditch, but Bill did.
“A couple of times in the second game when they had to do a long end, Bill pretty much launched himself to get the bowl up to the end.
“Coming into the last end, our boys were up six, but the other pair had the mat and had it ditch to ditch.
“Our boys were looking at being six or seven down in the last end, and everybody else had finished, so they were all watching.
“Everybody was just hoping that Bill would just get his bowl in there close and he launched himself.
“As that bowl came down, we all held our breath and we watched it come in and take six shots for the other pair down to two, so they lost that end, but overall won by four.
“It was the most amazing thing to see.”
Val said the reaction from Ron and Bill following their win proved just how much it meant to them.
“Ron burst into tears, because they were both so zoned in on what they were doing and to know they had won it, he just started crying, then Bill stood there and was speechless,” she said.
“He had tears running down his face as well.
“Not that we didn’t want the other pair to win, because they played a great game, but these two old fellas proved that draw bowling is all you need.
“They played amazingly and it was great to see.
“Bill said his father at 84 years of age had made it to the top eight previously in the state men’s pairs.”
A further announcement will be made in the coming weeks as to when the final 16 matches and the rest of the state men’s and women’s pairs competitions will be held.