Brennan crowned Grampians Bowls Division champion of champions

Karen Brennan

Karen Brennan

Chalambar’s Karen Brennan has been crowned the Grampians Bowls Division champion of champions after defeating Ararat VRI’s Lorna Neil in the final on Tuesday.

The event was contested between the champions of the eight Grampians Bowls Division clubs with Brennan awarded the honour for the first time after she scored 25 shots to 19 against Neil from 24 ends.

The Chalambar club champion got off to a good start getting out to a 11-shot lead before Neil started to close the gap, scoring seven unanswered shots.

Brennan was forced to change her plan and shortened the end of the length to try and disrupt the rhythm of her opponent.

This turned the match back in her favour with the score stretching back out to 19-15 at the end of the 18th end.

From there it was an even contest with Neil unable to bridge the gap with Brennan using a forehand upshot to score the final shot she needed to win the final.

Brennan said it was a fantastic feeling to finally win the prestigious honour.

"It is a big thrill and big honour to win it,” she said.

"I have been trying to win it for six years and have put a lot of hard work and hours in on the bowling green.

Brennan said it is the biggest win of her bowls career so far.

"To win club championships is an extreme honour in itself, but to win the champion of champions title is the highest in the division which makes it even more special to me.”

Brennan said the ability to be able to change up her approach was the key to being able to regain the ascendancy in the match.

"The turnaround for me was shortening the end in the middle part of the match,” she said.

“Lorna was getting into her groove in the middle to longer end lengths, so I changed it and just had to hang in for a while.”

The win means Brennan will now represent the Grampians Bowls Division in the regional finals to be hosted in Ararat in March.

Brennan said a lot of people have helped her get to this point and was grateful for their help.

"I am very thankful to Ann Hunt for coaching and helping me early on,” she said.

“There are many others who have helped out along the way and I just want to thank them as well.

“Without them this result would not have been possible for me to achieve.”

It has been 19 years since a Chalambar Bowls Club champion won the division’s top ladies honour.

Brennan won through to the final after she defeated Lake Bolac’s Joan Curnow by three shots in the first round to progress to the next match.

She then came up against Stawell’s Rita Pyke and picked up the comfortable win 25 shots to 16 to make it through to the final.

Neil defeated Annette Dwyer in her first match before she claimed victory against Val Tonkin in the semi-final to reach the final.