FOR the second year running, the underdog has reigned supreme at the Griffith Exies Masters Triples.
Despite a world-class field of entrants featuring some of the biggest names in lawn bowls, a trio of part-timers took out the top prize at the $31,000 tournament last week.
Pete Watts and David Quiggly from Young and Tuggeranong’s Nic Gannon took advantage of a friendly draw to collect their $9000 winner’s cheque at the conclusion of the competition on Thursday.
While fortunate to have avoided the likes of world champion Aron Sherriff, the trio had to stave off some hot competition from bowlers hailing from right across the country to taste victory.
“The class of the field was really, really good – across the board, probably a lot stronger than last year,” Exies club board member Matt Geltch said.
“Last year there were some locals who won it and this year, again, there was the likes of Aron Sherriff, and he ran third or fourth.
“It’s a round robin format so it is a little bit of luck of the draw in who you play, but in saying that you’ve still got to win every game.”
The brainchild of locals John Ritorto and Peter Thornton, the second annual Griffith Exies Masters - one of the biggest sporting competitions in the Riverina - was again toasted as a massive success by organisers and participants alike, praised for its relaxed atmosphere and strong level of play.
A year on from its inaugural running and it remains a jewel in Griffith’s sporting crown.
The three-day tournament kicked off with an open shootout on Tuesday night, which was won by John King and Adrian Hill, and finished with a lavish gala dinner at the main Ex-Servicemen’s Club to close out the week’s celebrations.
“The feedback was really positive and all the guys who came want to come back again next year,” Geltch said.
“We played a few blokes from Canberra ourselves who’d never been here before, and they said they were amazed when they drove through Yenda by the size of the vineyards.
“They knew Griffith existed, obviously, but they were impressed by the town, tournament and facilities.
“It certainly took some big steps forward - it perhaps wasn’t bigger than last year, but everything went a little smoother.
“On behalf of the Exies club, a big thank you to Johnny and Peter for organising this great tournament again. Hopefully it continues on to even bigger and better things.”