Bowls: A Vorbach family history at Clunes club

HOW romantic! Husband and wife together on St Valentine’s Day. Trying to knock one another out of a bowls club championship.

Last night Mark and Narelle Vorbach were on the green at Clunes, swapping draws and drives rather than roses.

Only one of the pair will continue into the semi-finals of the Clunes Bowling Club’s 100-up knock-out tournament.

The stakes are high but, as Mark said beforehand, at least one of them would be through to the final eight.

“It will be a tussle,” he admitted prior to taking to the green.

“I’d already delivered the Valentine flowers so hopefully it might soften her up.” 

There are four members of the Vorbach clan currently at Clunes: Mark and wife Narelle, and Mark’s parents Ken and Dawn.

And there has been a Vorbach at the club for most of the past 50 years or more.

“Mum and Dad have been there over the past 45 or so years, so the family has had a long involvement,” Mark said.

Mark started playing pennant bowls about six years ago. Narelle started three years later.

Now Mark plays in division three as a third to skipper Howard Smith, while Narelle plays division six.

Father Ken, meanwhile, plays in Clunes’ division six side along with his wife Dawn, who is also in Clunes’ lone midweek division two side.

And they have high hopes future generations of the Vorbach family will be on the greens off Ligar Street.

“Narelle and I have six kids between us. We’re known around the club as the Brady Bunch,” Mark said.

“Narelle has two girls and a boy, and I have two boys and a girl.”  

Even without the kids playing, the Vorbach family makes up a significant proportion of the roughly 60 members at Clunes. It has created the odd drama when family outings have clashed with Saturday competition.

“When we went to a wedding as a family and the four of us were out, it left a bit of a hole,” Mark admitted.

“So if a whole family is playing bowls it’s probably best no one in the family should get married during the bowls season.”

Mark is president at Clunes while Narelle is a BDBD delegate. 

Tomorrow is an important day for the club, with the division three side sitting second on the ladder and facing top side Linton.

The division six side also plays Linton, and needs to win to stay in the hunt for the finals.

With the division eight side in fourth Clunes is a chance for promotion in every grade. 

For the record, Mark won last night but it was close.

It was then off to tea for Dawn’s birthday.

Presumably, bowls wasn’t discussed.

Narelle and Mark Vorbach in action against each other.

Narelle and Mark Vorbach in action against each other.


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