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January 10, 2018

Stoked: Shepparton Golf's John Stokes created a formidable pairing playing alongside Mia Nowosad.

Onwards and upwards: Kyabram's Mia Nowosad is loving pairing with Shepparton Golf's Jones Stokes, with the duo claiming the Goulburn Valley state mixed pairs competition yesterday.

A chance meeting ordering pizza resulted in Shepparton Golf’s John Stokes and Kyabram’s Mia Nowosad becoming the best mixed team in the Goulburn Valley.

The pair defeated Kyabram duo Rob Anset and Helen Chapman to be named the Goulburn Valley state mixed pairs champion.

Stokes and Nowosad have connections stemming back many years to their days playing at Stanhope, but only last year did they pair up.

But now Nowosad cannot think of anyone better to pair with.

‘‘He’s probably my best partner and it’s all because we were there at Mooroopna Pizzeria at the same time and I was looking for a partner for the mixed (at the Victorian Open) and that week was the last week for Vic Open entries,’’ she said.

‘‘I said ‘what are you doing, how about having a go at the mixed?’ and he said ‘why not?’’’

Phenomenal form at the Victorian Open in November proved their worth as a pairing.

Stokes and Nowosad reached the quarter-finals before a one-shot loss ended their tournament.

But they have taken out their first title together, overcoming Anset and Chapman 24-7 in yesterday’s final at East Shepparton.

Pulling six shots on the 15th end meant the match would go no further, as the scoreline was extended after the composite pair led the entire encounter.

Anset and Chapman had already exerted plenty of effort to defeat last year’s champions Paul Nichols and Lynn Barber.

But they were not able to keep up with Stokes and Nowosad in the final during the afternoon session.

‘‘It’s been a joy and of course all our opponents were really good players, it’s just a matter of who is going to get closer to the jack on the day,’’ Nowosad said.

Stokes was forced to cling onto his wide brim hat shortly after releasing some deliveries after lunch, as the gusts increased following morning matches.

East Shepparton’s synthetic greens have brought Stokes and Nowosad nothing but good fortune since they started playing there as a duo.

With the Murray and Central bowls divisions coming to the Goulburn Valley for this year’s event, Stokes was clear on his location preference for the tournament.

‘‘We’re going well here, this is where we played the Vic Open and we played the first five games here and we’ve played another five, so we’re 10-love on this green,’’ Stokes said.

‘‘It’s in the GV this year, so it would not be bad if we played here Mr Chairman,’’ he said with a smile to GVBD chairman James McLeod.

While they compete for different sides, Nowosad was just happy there would continue to be more Stanhope representation at a representative level.

‘‘I love playing with Stokes ... because we’re both Stanhopians, it’s good to catch up with Stokes and play,’’ she said.

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