Joan Ridgeway defeats Judy Sheely in the Gloucester Women's Bowls Major Singles title

Women's major singles déjà vu: for the second year in a row Joan Ridgeway is the winner and Judy Sheely is the runner up. Photo: Anne Keen
Women's major singles déjà vu: for the second year in a row Joan Ridgeway is the winner and Judy Sheely is the runner up. Photo: Anne Keen

It may not have been Joan Ridgeway's first win in the Gloucester Women's Bowling Club's major singles championship, but it's the first time she's able to speak about in the Gloucester Advocate.

"I've never had my photo in the paper for winning the women's singles,' Joan smiled.

So that's now been rectified. 

Joan played against Judy Sheely in the final of the club's blue ribbon event on Wednesday March 6 at the Gloucester Bowling Club.

It was a case of déjà vu for the pair who found themselves in the same position last year after the knock out competition led to the final game.

And just like last year, Judy was the runner up.

There were six rounds leading up to the final, with the championship open to all women's club members.

The final was a battle to be the the first to 25.

Club president, Jean Holstein said the average game runs for around three hours, but on Wednesday, Joan achieved success in just two hours, with a final score of 26 to 10.

Joan started playing part-time in 1993, taking the game on full-time in 2000 after retiring.

She won her first major singles title in 2006 and has had a steady stream of titles ever since. 

"I've always liked sport and it's a friendly competition," Joan answered when asked why she took up bowls.

She said she was an avid tennis player until she had a hip replacement.

But she'll continue to play bowls until she "can't bend down anymore," she laughed.

"I'm 80, so I'm doing well."

Judy used to play netball but stopped when she was 20, not playing another team sport until joining the club three years ago. 

"I used to race pigeons with my husband for sport, but now we both play bowls,'' Judy said.

She won the club's minor singles championship in her first year; a title, that according to Joan has been her most pleasing to win.

The major singles championship is the first title off the rank for the season. Joan will now take part the Lower Mid North Coast Champion of Club Champions in May, where the winner will head to the State.