COMPETITORS at a bowls competition in Frankston over the Easter break may have witnessed the beginning of a profitable partnership.
The prestigious Easter Open Pairs hosted at Frankston Bowling Club saw an unlikely duo take out the top prize at the tournament featuring about $5000 in prize money.
Veteran bowls player Stan Sliwinski, 60, from Hastings teamed up with young gun Arjay Bywaters, 17, from Oakleigh South to overcome a field of 96 top-class bowlers from as far away as Hong Kong and snare about $1000 each.
Mr Sliwinski said it was the first time he had entered the annual competition despite playing bowls for more than 20 years and the first time he had met the Oakleigh South youngster.
“My regular bowls partner was on holiday so I put a message up on Facebook for a partner and Arjay saw it,” he said.
“It was just a chance thing. We only met 15 minutes before the first game.”
The pair’s bowls game quickly clicked into gear and the duo triumphed at the end of two days’ play on last Saturday and Sunday (26-27 March).
“It was good playing with Arjay. It’s great playing with these young up and coming guys because they’re good and they’re like sponges and listen to everything and Arjay got better and better every game.”
Mr Sliwinski, who bowls at Hastings Bowls Club and has represented Victoria at state level, refused to be drawn on whether his existing bowls partner faced the axe but joked “they may be”.
Frankston Bowling Club administration director Alan McNeil thanked Frankston Council for its continued support of the annual Easter Open Pairs tournament that attracts bowls players from overseas, interstate and regional Victoria.
“It was a marvellous success. Our coach Rob Huddle planned the tournament perfectly and volunteers pitched in and fixed the greens up and worked in the kitchen and the bar,” Mr McNeil said.
“The final match featured superb skill and there were loud roars of approval from quite a large crowd of spectators.”
Frankston mayor Cr James Dooley opened the tournament on the Saturday and headed along on Sunday to watch some of the action. Cr Darrel Taylor handed out prizes to the finalists on the Sunday afternoon.
See frankston.bowls.com.au for future tournament and club event details or call 03 9783 2877.