Brad Donaldson – Record Holder
Lawn bowling history occurred at the Balmain Bowling Club this month. But this story really started 131 years ago in 1887, just 7 years after the commencement of the Balmain Bowling Club. Renowned Club supporter and a keen bowler himself, Judge Holroyd donated a valuable ‘silver’ ball trophy to contest for the Club’s Annual Champion Bowler.
So started the Holroyd Cup, and played every championship year ever since.
Judge Holroyd stipulated that for the Club Champion to actually keep the trophy, they would have to win the Club championship 3 years in a row or, win the championship 5 times in total. It took 53 years to achieve that when in 1939, W Allen won the championship on 5 separate occasions. At a time when that silver ball trophy likely could have purchased a home, being the true champion he was, Mr Allen donated the trophy back to the Club. Being the then ‘owner’ of the trophy, he stipulated the annual competition would be played perpetually. And so it has come to pass that the Holroyd Cup is now the longest running Club Championship in Australian lawn bowls history.
Mr Allen went on to win the Holroyd Cup a 6th time.
However, on 131 st anniversary of the Holroyd Cup championships, a new record was achieved by our 2017 Club Champion, Brad Donaldson. Brad became the first player to have ever won the Championship 3 years in a row, Judge Holroyd’s original stipulation! Starting a handicap of -12 over his competitor, Brad fought hard over a five hour tournament to defeat a tenacious James Beech. Spectators commented that it was one of the best games of lawn bowls they had ever witnessed. We suspect if he was alive today, Judge Holroyd would have had a grin from ear to ear over Brad’s massive 131 year achievement.
But it doesn’t finish there. Brad has actually won the Holroyd Cup on 4 occasions now. W Allen & J J Reed are the only other Club Champions to have ever achieved 4 championships and of course W Allen went on to win 6. Though he has written himself spectacularly into our history books, Brad is now chasing W Allen’s record. Should he equal W Allen’s record, by virtue of him winning 3 years in a row, Brad will become known as the greatest all time lawn bowler in the Balmain Bowling Club’s history.