It’s been a big few days for Bendigo bowls, with Kangaroo Flat’s Bob Morrall joining Aaron Wilson as a newly-crowned national champion.
Morrall claimed the Deaf Sports Australia title on his debut in the Australian Open singles last week.
Morrall split the opening two sets 7-6 2-11 with Queensland’s Barry Lynne in the final, but held his nerve to win the deciding set 4-3.
“It was close, it’s very good competition. I wasn’t particularly nervous, I’ve been playing for a while,” Morrall said.
Morrall, Lynne and Western Australia’s Gary Lockett contested the Australian Open title.
Morrall lost a close match to Lockett in the round-robin stage, but defeated Lynne to book a spot in last Friday’s final at Darebin.
The win was the biggest of Morrall’s 22-year career after he won the Victorian title late last year.
Morrall has only recently become a Deaf Bowls Victoria member after his hearing deteriorated over about 40 years.
“I didn’t even know they existed until last year. You have to have a specified degree of hearing loss to qualify for it,” he said.
“I’ve got hearing loss, but some of the people I was playing against have been deaf since birth.
“Mine was a result of Meniere’s disease. I do have a fair degree of hearing loss.
“It’s got to the stage where I’m wearing two hearing aids. It’s quite difficult to hear in a lot of situations. One-on-one I’m fine, but in a room full of people I can’t hear anything.”
Morrall took up bowls as a 48-year-old and has been a member at Kangaroo Flat Bowls Club ever since.
“I was rifle shooting. I gave that up because it wasn’t doing my hearing any good,” he said.
Morrall skippers a team in division two of the Bendigo Bowls Division and led his side to a fighting win over Eaglehawk in the final round last weekend.
Morrall is a two-time winner of Kangaroo Flat’s pairs championship and plans to continue bowling.
“While I’m fit and active I’ll continue playing bowls and at the moment I’m reasonably fit and active,” he said.
Aaron Wilson won the Bowls Australia men’s singles championship on Friday at Darebin.