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Toronto Macs etch name in gateball history books

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The Toronto Macs etched their name in the history books after recently winning the Queensland State Gateball Championships at the Southport Croquet Club.

The outfit – consisting of Toronto Croquet Club’s Ruth Mulvaney, Helen Chalmers, Marion Davies and Jenny Wilshire, as well as Hazelbrook’s John Park and Bribie Island’s Lynda Davis – captured the teams’ crown in its first attempt at the prestigious event.

Thankfully, the light rain during the competition failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the local players, who prevailed over runners up, the Grey Shirts.

The tournament attracted contenders from Queensland, as well as Adelaide, Canberra and Newcastle, with nine squads vying for the title.

Making their debut at the Queensland State Gateball Championships, the Toronto Macs not only claimed the overall spoils, but finished as the clear leaders throughout the preliminary rounds.

Fiona McAlister, the daughter of Lola Whyte, after whom the trophy was named, was on hand to present the silverware to the victors.

The Lake Macquarie organisation also tasted success in the doubles.

Mulvaney and Park reached the semi-final, losing to colleague Wilshire and Adelaide’s Geoff Crook in an exciting showdown.

The latter then captured the decider, accounting for Southport pairing Lee Wentworth and Julia Tai.

Following the absorbing, tactical battle, Wilshire and Crook lifted the Bruce McAlister Shield.

“It was a great result from the local contingent,” Toronto Croquet Club’s publicity officer Liz McDonald said.

“Not many people realise it, but gateball is a mallet sport similar to croquet.

“It is a fast-paced, non-contact, highly-strategic team game, which can be played by anyone regardless of age or gender.

“Although relatively new in Australia, it is contested by millions of people throughout Asia and South America.”

For good measure, the Toronto Macs also snared second at last weekend’s 2022 NSW Gateball Championships at the Twin City Croquet Club at Wodonga.

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