Matthews Steer Director, and Head of Private Wealth, Anthony Flapper, is in the winners’ circle again, after captaining Essendon Bowls Club to victory over Clayton in the Bowls Victoria Premier Division Grand Final.
The Essendon team only lost an almost unprecedented two games all season, so went into the grand final – played in front of 500 spectator under the dome at Dandenong Bowls Club – as favourites. But the minor premiers made a slow start, Clayton lifting their game to take the final right to the Bombers.
Facing a double figure margin for most of the day, Flapper’s Essendon team slowly clawed their way back into the game, hitting the front with only five ends to play, and running out winners in a nail-biting 82 shots to 77 win.
As captain, coach and mentor to the team, Flapper attributed their fighting victory to belief and mateship.
“Belief is something our team talks about all the time,” he said. “We know we have the ability, and can come back from any position to win a game. Then there’s mateship. This team is a great group, we love each other’s company and we play for each other.”
Flapper, who led Essendon to victory in the men’s fours at the Australian Lawn Bowls Championships in December last year, said the team’s overwhelming emotion on claiming the title was relief.
“There was a lot of build-up and pressure. Losing two games for the whole season is pretty unheard of so we were favourites, but we were outplayed for the majority of the final. Anyone can beat anyone on their day, so it was extremely satisfying to hang in there and overrun them in the end.”
Flapper – whose wife Cheryl also competed in the team at the Grand Final – said the team’s family connections made their premiership triumph even more special.
“We have a 16-year-old teammate whose brother, sister, mum and dad all play for the club, and we had a father and son playing on the team for the final. To me, winning the fours at the Australian Lawn Bowls Championshipswas great, but winning on Sunday with Cheryl was unbelievable.”
And he paid tribute to Matthews Steer, where he is a partner, for giving him the flexibility to serve as coach and mentor at Essendon.
“The support I receive from the Matthews Steer team enables me to dedicate time to coaching and mentoring individuals, player selection, management and performance. If I had a strictly nine-to-five job that wouldn’t be possible.”
Next stop for Flapper’s team is the State Championships in Moama where they’ll take on regional Victorian champions. “Our vision is to be the premier bowls club in Victorian Pennant,” said Flapper. “We have won two of the last four Grand Finals, but if we’re going to call ourselves the No.1 club in Melbourne it’s important that we go and win the State Championship.”