Camperdown Chronicle
Family rivalry for pennant battle

BRAGGING rights will be up for grabs for one local family tomorrow.

Camperdown father and son painting combo Ron and Paul Cameron will sever business ties for the day when they square off against each other in a bowls match.

Ron will play for Camperdown, while Paul will represent Apollo Bay in the two clubs’ division one Corangamite Bowls Division clash at Camperdown Bowling Club.

It will be the fourth time the pair has faced each other on separate teams, but the first since 2017/18 after Paul returned from Premier League outfit Ocean Grove ahead of this season.

Speaking to the Camperdown Chronicle earlier this week, the pair revealed their relationship had remained normal in the build-up to the match but would likely change once they step foot on the bowling green.

They are both looking forward to the challenge of facing the other and are both hoping their respective rinks come across each other although they had differing versions of how many times they had previously faced each other.

Paul said they had never played each other but his memory was quickly refreshed by his father, who reminded him they had played two rink matches partly due to some mischievous behaviour.

“I rigged it,” Ron said.

“I went and saw the managers for the day (in 2015/16) and I said ‘listen put Chompa (Paul) and I (together) and they went yeah no worries and both agreed’.

“So the first time we played, we played a draw down at Apollo Bay (2015/16) and the second time (16/17) I think Paul won by four or five shots.”

While Ron may not be able to rig the draw this time around, he knows the encounter is a “very important” game for his club.

The two sides are locked in a battle with a number of others for fourth spot, with Camperdown (fifth) and Apollo Bay (sixth) currently nipping at the heels of fourth-placed Colac City.

“It’s like the previous game before the break, well we had to win that otherwise you’d nearly say the season was over for us in terms of making the finals,” Ron said.

“But at the moment that fourth spot is up for grabs between two or three clubs so it is a very important game.

“Not only for us but also Apollo Bay as well, so we’ll be giving it our best shot.”

Paul, who is currently in his second stint at the Wolves following years at Camperdown Golf, Camperdown and Ocean Grove, said he had fitted back into familiar surroundings quickly.

He said so far Apollo Bay had not started the way they had hoped but added it had been a “better start” on the previous year.

“I think they only won one game before Christmas last year but were getting beaten by four or five shots, three shots or one shot,” Paul said.

“We’ve got a couple of wins on the board so hopefully we can get another three or four on the board before Christmas because it’s a shorter round this year, there’s only 16 rounds instead of 18.

“There’s only a few games after Christmas so if you haven’t got those wins on the board before Christmas you’ll be struggling to make the four.”

Camperdown will enter the match with a slight advantage given will be played on their home green but Paul said Apollo Bay had done well on their recent trips to Thornton Street’s smaller and well-paced synthetic green.

“Usually we travel pretty good coming down here so we should line up alright but it depends on who draws who,” Paul said.

“You never know (how it will go) until you get too serious and work out what’s going on and what your game plan is and that.

“It just depends because some skippers like short ends, some like long ends. Some are more aggressive bowlers while some just like to draw more.”

As for Ron, he said the emphasis on limiting Paul’s influence as skipper would be up to Camperdown’s “leads and seconds to get in there first and to try and dominate from the word go”.

“If you can get them in there (the head) early then all of a sudden the pressure does go on the thirds and the skips then if the front end can get in there,” Ron said.

“That’ll be one way they’ll be trying to stem Chompa’s rink but it’ll all happen on the day.

‘It’s like any sport though. If things run for you, you make your own luck a bit too because there is a bit of luck involved in bowls.

“If you have that little bird (of luck) on your shoulder it can make a hell of a difference at the end of the day.”

Both players are hoping for improving weather conditions when the clash gets under way at 1pm following weeks of cold and wet weather.

Paul is also hoping the stars align when the managers draw the rinks and his quartet eventually faces Ron’s, which is skippered by Mark McDonald.

There’s a personal motivation behind his desire to face his old man, who has never lost any of the three singles matches he’s played against his son.

“I enjoy the clashes we have against each other and we sort of step our bowls up another level when we play each other,” Paul said.

“We sort of save them for each other and it’s always been like that since I started at Golf. I can’t beat him in the singles so I’ll try and beat him in the pennant.”

While the singles bragging rights may well and truly be with the Cameron head honcho, one thing for certain is that drinks will no doubt be on tomorrow’s loser.