Pritchard on hot streak
By MITCHELL DALE
WHAT'S the best way to improve your performance on the bowling green?
The answer is simple ? retire.
Retirement, according to Park Beach veteran Col Pritchard is the reason for his blistering start to the 2005 season.
Already this year, the former Queensland representative has skipped teams to victory in the District Over60s pairs, District triples and club fours.
He puts a lot of his success down to spending more time on the greens after retiring as Park Beach's bowls manager last May.
"Yeah, I'm very pleased with my start to the season, so far so good," he says.
"I think I am more relaxed this year and since I have retired I have been able to spend more time on the green.
"It's pretty hard when you work at the bowling club, because there is not a lot of time to practice.
"Retirement has been very good to me, I can play when I want to play and I am more relaxed than I was when I was working at the club.
"When I was working here, I would try to relax when I played, but there would always be something that needed to be done or someone asking questions."
Over two magical weekends this month, Pritchard claimed the District triples and District Over-60s pairs titles.
On March 13, he combined with Wayne Rowbottom to win the pairs over Eddie Engel's Dorrigo team at Dorrigo.
One week later, he joined Terry Kadwell and Jim Swan to claim the triples.
The veteran is confident both teams can now claim the Zone title and head to Sydney for the State championships.
"I am looking forward to both," he says.
"The Over-60s, being the first year, is very much an unknown quantity and we are not sure who we will be up against.
"I am quietly confident about the Zone triples as well.
"The team are all playing pretty well; Jim and I are former State players and Terry is playing as well as he ever has.
"We have an edge in experience and probably would be favourites, but anything can happen on the day."
Pritchard also has a new goal this year ? to make the State Over-60s team.
"It is the first time an Over-60s side has been selected and that is another major goal," he says.
"I played 230 games for Queensland over 15 years, so I am not unaccustomed to playing at that level."
Pritchard intends on enjoying his hot streak while it lasts.
"At my stage in life, it's nice to still be playing well," he says.