GOOD GAME: Andrew "Big Dog" Doggett watches on as Lachlan O'Dempsey plays his shot. Lucy Cantori

Close competition at bowls festival

IT WAS neck and neck as young gun Lachlan O’Dempsey took on veteran lawn bowler Andrew “Big Dog” Doggett as part of the Sunshine Coast Winter Bowls Carnival at the Mooloolaba Bowls Club yesterday.

There was only one shot separating the pair, O’Dempsey from the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba and Doggett from Griffith University on the Gold Coast, for most of the game as they battled to reach 21.

A couple of cracking last minute shots from O’Dempsey saw him edge out the multiple gold-medallist and secure the win.

O’Dempsey said he was feeling “pretty shakey” after handing Doggett his first loss in years.

“This is my fourth games and my first ever loss,” Doggett said.

“Lachlan did really well and played really well throughout the whole game.”

Doggett said he was happy to see so many younger bowlers coming up through the ranks and getting involved in the game.

“The old guys only play it because it takes so long to master,” he said.

“There is a lot more younger people playing it now though.

“The juniors are fantastic and I know our university and a couple of others have even got bowls clubs so it’s definitely growing.

“And let’s face it, it’s one of the few sports where you can have a drink and still enjoy the game so why wouldn’t you want to be involved.”

Doggett and O’Dempsey said they were both enjoying their time on the Sunshine Coast and were ready for a few more upcoming games over the next few days.

“I’ve had one win and one loss but it’s been great, nice and hot,” O’Dempsey said.

“Definitely better than freezing in Toowoomba or down south,” Doggett added.

“Over the next three days we’ll have three hour-and-a-half games a day, sometimes back-to-back, so it’s long days of bowls but it’s been good.”

The Sunshine Coast Winter Bowls Festival will continue tomorrow with mixed pairs competition at Caloundra Bowls Club.

A total of $16,500 in prize money is up for grabs throughout the festival which runs at bowls clubs across the region until July 17.

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