Warilla's McGillivray takes out Illawarra Senior Singles

Warilla's Geoff McGillivray has claimed his first Illawarra zone 16 senior title after winning the zone 16 over-60s singles. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Warilla's Geoff McGillivray has claimed his first Illawarra zone 16 senior title after winning the zone 16 over-60s singles. Picture: ROBERT PEET

LAWN BOWLS

Geoff McGillivray - part of Illawarra's open representative team - won another grade 1 pennant with Warilla and last Sunday clinched his first senior zone 16 title by taking out the Illawarra Senior Singles.

McGillivray, long regarded as one of Illawarra's most consistent bowlers, beat Thirroul's Barry Hazelgrove 31-27 in an excellent seniors (over-60s) final at Dapto Citizens BC.

McGillivray has won the State Open Triples and will now try to win his first state senior title, with the singles finals conducted at Ettalong Memorial BC in October.

While admitting it wasn't easy deciding whether to keep playing the open singles and pairs or switch to the senior championship events, there is no turning back now.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do, but now I've made the decision to play seniors I'm comfortable with that and will be only playing the senior events in the singles and pairs," McGillivray said.

"Teddy Clarke and I will play in the Illawarra Senior Pairs and hopefully, we go OK and having won my first senior event. In the singles, I'm really looking forward to having a crack at the state title."

A back complaint marred his debut in the Illawarra Senior Singles last year but with McGillivray still a force in open events, he will be extremely hard to beat in the over 60s.

Having joined Warilla in 1994, McGillivray is their longest-serving player of the club's golden era.

He helped the Gorillas win two NSW Premier League titles in the late 1990s, was part of Warilla's only state No 1 flag in 2004 and has been central to the club's four Illawarra titles in the past six years.

His enthusiasm for bowls hasn't waned and he credits playing with the production line of young talent at Warilla for keeping him sharp.

"Playing with Teysy [Aaron Teys], Jesse [Noronha], Aaron Speers and the other young guys has been great for me," he said.

"I love being around them, sharing in the success we are having and watching them develop as players."

Early next month McGillivray will take his place in Illawarra's open zone 16 side for an inter-zone series in Newcastle, before Warilla gear up for a crack at the state No 1 finals at Belrose BC on August 9-11.

With hardly a spare day between tournaments, plus club and Illawarra representative commitments, McGillivray is determined to keep playing at the highest level possible.

"I love playing and hopefully, the old knees and back stay good and I can keep on keeping on," he said.

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