Kevin “Scobie” Breasley. Photo: Supplied.

Just nine weeks shy of his 89th birthday, Kevin “Scobie” Breasley is showing no signs of slowing down having taken out the Cootamundra Country Club Singles Championships for the second time in two years.

The back-to-back defending of the honour was a hard-earned victory over Scott Wilkinson, a man 30 years his junior and this was played last Wednesday.

The game kicked off with Kevin scoring a four on the first end until Scottie picked up the pace of the green and having played long ends, it turned into quite the battle.

Those present at the Championship described the standard of bowls from both players in the grand final to be magnificent, with the shot easy to get but difficult to hold onto.

Following 25 ends the score was 18 a-piece and it was not until end 32 that Kevin started to nose in front to prove his stamina through to end 40 where he reached the coveted 31-23 scoreline.

Both players finished with 20 ends won, so it was only the fact that Kevin picked up a 4 score and 2×3 score that made the big difference.

Kevin who goes by the nickname “Scobie” since a young man has a connection with renowned top jockey Scobie Breasley, his cousin.

Scobie Breasley was born in Wagga Wagga and famously won the Caulfield Cup in Melbourne in back-to-back succession from 1942-45, won The Derby twice in England, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France once.

Well known Australian judge and former politician Terry Sheahan used to live a few doors down from Scobie [Kevin] and even earned a ride once from him to Council Chambers, asking him if “Scobie” was actually his name.

“No, not really, my name is Kevin. I got that nickname off my cousin the jockey, and that has stuck with me ever since I was a kid,” he replied.

Scobie began playing the sport of bowls in 1996 at the start of his retirement after being talked into it, he said since then he has never looked back.

Four Club Singles win over 25 years of playing and the latest at the ripe age of 88, he declared himself as the oldest player to have won the crown in 85 years.

Scobie’s first final success was in 1999, then 2005 where he overcame good mate and experienced bowler Don Manwaring.

Regarded as Scobie’s toughest major contest to date, the hard-fought match on the fast green was played out to a 31-30 win in favour of Scobie.

“The game has not changed that much over the years although it all comes down to experience and the condition of the green, on the day,” Scobie said.

“Against Don in 05’ it was what they call is a 17, which is really fast. Last Wednesday the green was about a 13 which proved the green is not as fast as it used to be.”

Mr Manwaring recalled being in the locker room during the same year of that final when Scobie shuffled in.

Scobie looked at Don and said, “G’day Donny, I’ve just called in to pick up my bowls”.

Don replied “why”, in question.

Scobie explained his back was no good and that he has to give bowls away.

“That’s nonsense. We can’t lose you. Do what Johnno [Ron Johnson] does and buy an automatic arm,” Don said.

Scobie handled the advice well and evidently the rest was history.

Today he plays bowls with the stick for at least two to three days a week and to a very high standard.

2021 Major Singles champion Scobie with his famous automatic arm stick. It is said that all the members are now ordering a magic arm so they can compete with him. Photo: Supplied.

“I wish I started playing bowls a lot younger,” Scobie noted.

“It’s a great game. You meet a lot of good fellows, go away to tournaments and create lots of friendships.”

When asked if he will return to defend his title next year in hope for a historic hat-trick sweep, Scobie said “I am still pretty active, so why not keep on hey?”

Scobie is the live wire of the Cootamundra Country Club Bowling Club, telling jokes, singing songs and enjoying a cold one.

Can he win it again? You betcha.

Christopher Tan