Sore hip led to singles title for Marion Patrick
Geraldine's Marion Patrick can thank a sore hip for her 30th Bowls South Canterbury centre title.
A win in the centre singles means Patrick became only the second player from the region to add a fifth bar to her Gold Star after beating Kia Toa's Mata Frankum 21-13.
The 73-year-old had given away playing singles almost a decade ago and this year is one of the South Canterbury women selectors.
Patrick however spent a day marking and watching and felt very stiff. "I thought I might be better playing and moving around, so I entered the singles thinking I would still be able to watch the girls.
"I didn't think I would qualify let alone win it so I am delighted, it was quite a thrill."
The unassuming Patrick said she wasn't worried about more titles, more important was getting her second hip replacement.
"Goodness me I'm 73."
Patrick took up bowls seriously in 1992 and won her first title that year, the intermediate singles.
She puts her success down to the help of others.
Many of her centre titles came with local legend Bett Prattley, who holds the centre record with 34 titles. "Bett was the leading light as far as championships go."
Former New Zealand men's bowler Robin Milne is third overall with 28, while the woman Prattley beat in the final, Frankum has 24.
Patrick said she represented South Canterbury on many occasions but gave it up about four years ago. "It was time to give someone else a go."
She does however have one Australasian title, but that came in indoor bowls, before her switch to outdoors.
Patrick said she enjoyed outdoor bowling better as conditions could be so different and that added a real challenge.
"Sometimes you have all the conditions, wind, rain and the green. It can be a lottery in many ways, the wind was tough against Mata in the final so if I played her tomorrow she would probably beat me hollow."
Patrick said the best thing about bowls was the people she had met and believed the sport had a bright future, especially locally.
"The most exciting thing is the young ones playing that are doing so well, like Keanu Darby, it is wonderful and he is such a nice boy.
"Peter Leonard has done a wonderful job of getting into the secondary schools and encouraging the young ones to have a go."
The final at the West End Bowling Club saw the evergreen Patrick dominate from the start, up 11-0 on the 6th end, as Frankum struggled with her weight and line
Frankum then managed to draw three shots on the next and crept back to 15-10 on the 13th end, then closed the gap further to within two.
Patrick then regained her calm composure and got back on track running or drawing with her last bowl to take the shot, finally winning 21-13.
In the semi-finals Timaru Town and Country Club's Pat Parker went down to Frankum 21-16 while Patrick beat Janice Styles of Kia Toa 21-12. The other two players to qualify were Liz Laws of Waimate and West End's Val Collie.
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