Walker plays crucial shot on 12th end to help Fairfield win brooch

Skip Barbara Walker played a  telling upshot on the 12th end to help Fairfield win its fifth Ballard Brooch in Dunedin yesterday.

The Fairfield four of Gloria Barton, Ann Blucher, Jacqui Peterson and Walker beat Outram’s Cindi Ewart, Anne Warrington-Blair, Mary Stevenson and Marion Hambleton 23-13 at the Green Island green.

It was the 74th annual Ballard Brooch competition that was first held in 1944 when it was won by the St Kilda club four skipped by Emily Adess.

It is the most prestigious event in Otago women’s bowls. Andersons’ Bay has won the event seven times while Taieri, Mornington and Port Chalmers have each had six wins.

Each club can only enter one team. The same Outram team won the event in 2013 but was outplayed by a more consistent Fairfield.

A feature of the Fairfield style was the more aggressive approach adopted by Walker and third Peterson, who learned the techniques playing against the men in the PBA.

Walker (62), a Dunedin relief teacher, grew up in Alexandra and represented Otago at squash, netball and swimming in her youth.

She has been playing bowls for 10 years and has one Bowls Dunedin title.

Walker played the decisive shot of the game on the 12th end when the scores were locked at 13-13.

Outram held two shots on the head when Walker ran the jack back for four shots and added the fifth and bonus shot with an accurate draw to the jack with her next bowl.

Walker rubbed it in on the next end, when Outram also held two shots on the head, by drawing the shot with her last bowl.

The experienced Outram combination had a flying start when it scored a five on the first end.

"I wasn’t worried then," Walker said.

"I had confidence in my team that has played consistently throughout the tournament. We back each other."

Fairfield scored 10 shots on the next five ends to lead 10-6 after seven ends.

Outram came back strongly with a three and four on the next two ends and, after 11 ends the scores were  13-13.

Fairfield scored 11 points on the last six ends to win comfortably.Barton and Blucher played consistent draw bowls to set up the heads.

The best bowler for Outram was Anne Warrington-Blair with her accuracy. She pulled her team back into the game on the ninth end with double-touchers with her two bowls.In the semifinals, Fairfield beat  Taieri (Janet Swallow) 12-3 while Outram beat Tainui (Elaine Legge) 12-9.


Ballard Brooch

At a glance

First held 1944.

• Brooches donated by Jessie Ballard (1887-1974).

• Rules: Fours competition with only one team per club.

• First winner: St Kilda (skip Emily Adess).

 Most wins: Andersons Bay 7, Mornington 6, Port Chalmers 6, Taieri 6.

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