Baker bowls to create division title history

SEBASTOPOL’S Rob Baker is aiming to create a bit of history today as he attempts to be the first bowler in 15 years to unite the Ballarat District Bowls Division singles and Champion of Champions singles titles.

His opponent Mt Xavier’s Bob Frka is aiming to create a bit of history for himself, at the Champion of Champions final at City Oval today.

“It is my first final. I’ve been in the semi-final before,” Frka, 74, says.

“I’ve done all right for a guy my age (to make the final). I’m very happy about it.

“We’ve beaten each other before.

“In bowls it depends on how you play on the day.

“I’m definitely the underdog, no doubt, but I’ll be giving it my best shot for sure.” 

Frka has four club championships at Mt Xavier and has won the BDBD pairs twice and triples twice. 

Baker won the Champion of Champions four years ago and has won the BDBD singles four times.

The 36-year-old defeated Webbcona’s Brett Mahoney in December for the BDBD singles crown, presenting him the opportunity to claim the division’s two “grand slam” singles crowns. 

“No one has won the double in the past 15 years,” Baker, 36, said. 

“I’m not bowling at the best of my ability but well enough when I need to.

“The City Oval greens could be a bit tricky, especially in the heat, which may even the match up a bit.

“I’d hope to win but I wouldn’t expect to win by much.” 

The timing of today’s final has been brought forward to 11am, from 1pm, because of the expected high temperatures. 

The final is to 25 shots up. 

In the semi-finals on Tuesday, Frka defeated Mitch Walton from the City Oval 25-17 and Baker defeated Greg Brown from Central Wendouree 25-15.

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