Valentine's Day victory for Blue Mountains Gateball

Valentine's Day Hazelbrook Gateball Tournament in action
Valentine's Day Hazelbrook Gateball Tournament in action

The Hazelbrook Gateball home team romped home to victory in the interclub mini-competition held on Sunday February 14 at the Hazelbrook Bowling and Sporting Club. They remained undefeated throughout the tournament.

After a week of rain, the weather miraculously cleared overnight before the competition, setting the scene for an action-packed day. Visiting competitors arrived from the Newcastle, Toronto, Strathfield, Epping and Lithgow clubs. All were impressed with the immaculately kept (though super fast) lawn and the facilities at the Hazelbrook Bowling and Sporting Club.

The mini-comp (numbers were limited to three teams) was played out in three rounds of three games, with each team playing twice and officiating once in each round. Play was fast and furious, onlookers impressed with the strokes, slides, bombards and strategy on display throughout the day and players simply glad to be able to get back into competition again after last year's COVID-19 interruptions.

Players were well supported by the Hazelbrook Bowling and Sporting Club, who opened the clubhouse early for the event.

Some of the Blue Mountains Gateball players moved their games from Lithgow to Hazelbrook Bowling and Sporting Club mid-last year due to the refurbishment of the Lithgow lawn and the COVID-19 lockdown. During the final term of school 2020, Gateball ran a program for 20 students from St Columba's Catholic College years seven and eights students one week and then years nine and 10 the following week. After several weeks of learning the basics the students were ready for a real challenge, with the program culminating in a mini-competition.

Gateball plays on Thursday mornings at 9am. Sunday morning games, also at 9am, are multi-age. One family boasts three generations with their youngest, nine-year-old competitor full of promise with a fine grip and fierce concentration.

Gateball may be new to Hazelbrook but its future looks as bright as the Valentine's Day weather.

Anyone interested in playing can contact: hazocroquet@gmail.com for further information.