2016 THE YEAR of DINO DOMINANCE
AUSTRALIAN MEN'S & WOMEN'S SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS 2016
LIVERPOOL CATHOLIC CLUB, SYDNEY
The 46th Senior Bocce Championship and 21st Women’s Bocce Championship was a winner!
The highlights were many and varied with the high spots being the increased skill level shown by all players participating this year, plus the athleticism of the young NatU25’s & U35’s, the confidence shown by Women Throwing and the continued dominance of the Victorian teams. NSW, QLD, South Australia and Western Australia were again very competitive and gave it their all to win some of the trophies.
The Championship was organized by the Bocce Federation of Australia in collaboration with the NSW Bocce Federation and hosted at the Liverpool Catholic Club Boccedrome, Sydney over the four days, 10th to 13th June.
The Opening ceremony was well received with a packed Boccedrome came to see the teams march onto the courts lead by the LCC Pipeband. The LCC Club President Michael Coffey, BFA President Raymond Cher and NSW President Lucky Legato welcomed the players along with other local and interstate dignitaries. The traditional bowl throw opening was again fun, with many of the VIP’s having a bowl. Although the bowls rolled every way except to the jack, the different bowling styles were enjoyed by all participants and spectators making it a fun feature of the traditional Opening ceremony. In the end it was the Pipe Band master outdoing all, bowling a perfect bowl next to the jack. This was followed by a bocce demonstration by the Special O’s which was marvelled by all the spectators as the participants displayed true sportsmanship and fun in playing two ends of bocce.
The Friday evening climax was the Rapid throw and this year it was Heat 1 of the Rapid Throw with Santo Pascuzzi (Nat U35 team) scoring 32 points followed by Daniel Samsa (NSW) on 24pts, Ivan Pepe(Nat U25) on 23 and Tony Borrelli (Nat U35) on 14points.
The four day Bocce Tournament bought together the best bocce players from across Australia. With over 90 Men and Women athletes from all corners of Australia – as far north as Bundaberg, and way out west to Perth. As well as the traditional forms of the game, the Singles and the Doubles, the teams competed in the more spectacular Bowl Throw, Precision Throw, and the Progressive Throw competitions as well as the team event of Triples.
The championship started on Friday with the Triples as each team set about to dominate the court space and play out for classification. This was followed by the Doubles, Singles, Bowl Throw and then the throwing events. All Victorian teams and players performed well with early wins by the Men's, Women's and NatU35's teams. Western Australia, South Australia, NAT U25’s and NSW made up the rest as they went on to top their pools in the round robin section of the tournament.
In the Triples the better performing teams went through the round robin section undefeated such as NEBA in the Women’s Triples & Vic Metro in the Men’s division. The Men’s semi-final was a classic tussle between NSW and the Vic Metro team. This was one of the marquee games of the Men’s Triples as precision throwing by Dino Mikolic and Angelo Parisi maintain the advantage as NSW challenged on every end. The Vic Metro team were forced to continually nominate the jack so as to restart the end and this continued on consecutive ends, until time limit was reached and Vic Metro winning 4 points to NSW 3 points. In the other SemiFinal Western Australia easily accounted for the NatU35 team winning 11 points to 4. The Final was dominated from the start by a determined Vic Metro team who went on to win 13 to 3. In the Women’s, it was NEBA who dominated early only to narrowly loose the Semifinal to NSW 11 to 10. In the other Semi Morwell beat Vic Metro 11 to 8 resulting in a Morwell v NSW final. The home team were gritty and focused to win in front of their home crowd and they did not disappoint as their precision bowling and home court advantage along with some cleaver strategy resulted in NSW overcoming Morwell 10 points to 6pts.
In the Doubles the Women’s team of NEBA dominated early with straight wins and smashing Bundaberg 13 to 1 in the Semifinals. In the other Semifinal Vic Metro accounted for QLD Metro thanks to a precision swap by Vanessa Allegretto helping to cement the win 6pts to 4pts. The Final was an all Victorian final with Vic Metro against NEBA, with Vic Metro winning 8pts to 1 point. In the Men’s Doubles again Vic Metro dominated smashing through to the Final in a quick pace while the ‘Young Turks’ of NATU25 (Daniel Samsa aand Tristan Giacommetti) cruised into the Final accounting for Bundaberg 13 to 7, NatU35 13 to 3 and WA 10 to 4. The final started off as a ‘walk in the park’ for the Vic Metro team of Dino Mikolic & Angelo Parisi, taking the lead from the start and smashing the NATU25’s bocce bowls out of the court at every end. A couple of critical misses by Vic Metro let the NATU25 team in and quickly winning points edging closer & at one stage levelling the score. With time limit reached and on the last end Vic Metro managed to take the point but a couple of narrow throwing misses left the game open as the Nat U25 had 4 bowls to play. It was a nail biting finish as the NatU25 contemplated throwing or bowling. Unfortunately, they took the conservative path and decided to bowl all the 4 bowls. This critical decision cost them the game & the title loosing 6 to 7points.
In the Singles it was a ‘cake walk’ for Jim Coviello (Vic Metro) as he beat Qld Metro 13 to 2, ACT 13 to 0, TAS 13 to 2 and Morwell 13 to 0 to qualify for the Men’s Final. On the other hand, Velimir Matutinovich (WA) had a challenging qualification path which he managed to navigate and eventually to qualify. In the Semifinal after a slow start Velimir managed to overcome Tristan Giacommetti(NatU25) winning 11 to 7. In the final J.Coviello jump out taking the lead only for it to be slowly whittled down by the persistent V.Matutinovich. Some precision throwing by V.Matutinovich and narrow misses by J.Coviello resulted in WA taking the lead and consolidating a 3 point advantage which he maintained till the end, winning the Title for WA. In the Women’s division it was Mrs.M.Ferraro (Sth Aust) who dominated, winning straight games and in the final beating long time favourite Mrs.B.Jones (Qld Metro) by 1 point, in a close game with a score of SA 8 points to Qld Metro 7points.
In the Bowl Throw it was all Dino Mikolic with straight out wins including the final against Stefano Chiandotto with a score of 18 pts to 13pts. In the Women’s Division it was a four way battle between Barbara Jones(Qld Metro), Vanessa Allegretto ( Vic Metro), Diane Penney (Morwell) and Nicole Samsa ( NSW). The final between Vaness Allegretto and Brabara Jones was close, with the advantage taken by the player that did not miss. It was a neck to neck battle from the players, as the lead alternated on each end. In the end Vanessa’s persistence paid as she went on to win by 1 point with a score of 12 to 11 and winning the Title for Vic Metro.
The Throwing events were again a spectacular part of the Championship. In the Women’s Division, it was a four way battled ending with a tie between Nicole Samsa and Barabara Jones having to qualify to the Final against Diane Penney. It was tense to watch as each player was throwing for the target not wanting to miss. In the end it was Nicole Samsa (NSW) who qualified for the final against Diane Penney (Morwell). The final was a low scoring event which saw Nicole score 5points to win her first National Title. In the Men’s Division, the Throwing events were dominated by Santo Pascuzzi (NATU35) as he went throughto win both titles very convincingly. In the Precision Throw Santo scored of 25points to win the title from runner-up Tony Borrelli who scored 12 points. While in the Rapid Throw it was a 4 way battle with Santo dominating again with a score of 36 hits from 45 Throw. In the final his opponent was Daniel Samsa who scored 26 hits from 44 Throw.
Both Vic Metro Men & Women teams won the Team Champions trophies, and Best & Fairest in the Women went to Barbara Jones( Qld Metro) and in the men’s division to Dino Mikolic( Vic Metro).
Overall the championship was one of the best, thanks to Lucky Legato’s dogged determination and will power. As Lucky stated in his closing presentation speech ‘ ‘We did it !’ and they did do a grand job. Special thanks to Lucky’s NSWBF Bocce committee and LLC club volunteers. In particular, thanks to the Tournament Directors Mary Massena, Penny Visintin and Sandra Samsa who ran the tight schedule without a cliché. On the courts the officiating was practically seamless, so thanks to the Referees Ivan DeSanti, Ennio Alfonsi, Giuseppe Rozzo, Valerio Chiandotto, Antonio Dias, and Rocky Mancini, diligently directed by Chief Referee Franco Fava. Thanks also to the Technical Director Antonio Biancacci, AGM & Bocce Forum Workshop Logistics Co-ordinator Lina Cher, Event & Draw Director Frank Funari and Photography Eddy Camillieri and Raymond Cher.
And in closing a big thanks to the Liverpool Catholic Club, for their hospitality and friendship shown in helping to make this a great success. Again a special mention to all the volunteers who have contributed to the preparation & organization of these Championships – thank you from all the players & Bocce Australia.