Tasmania & ACT complete their 5 test series.
The fifth and final tests between Tasmania & ACT were played today. Despite having claimed both series, the Men were out to claim a very rare clean sweep and the Women wanted to show that yesterday was not a fluke and a 4-1 win would demonstrate that. Let’s have a look at how the last test played out.
The Women had such a strong day yesterday and went on to the green hoping to continue in those footsteps. The matchups for the last test were as follows; Rebecca Van Asch vs Margaret Bacchetto, Candice Hodgetts vs Ruth Moore & Courtney Hobbs vs Sharon Harmer. Tasmania played like a team that had no pressure and got off to a very strong start. Van Asch led 7-2 after 4 ends, Hodgetts led 7-1 after 4 ends & Hobbs led 3-1 at the same point in the game, giving the Tasmanian team a 13 point lead after 12 ends. A slight hiccup saw ACT pick up a 4 against Van Asch & 3 shots over 2 ends against Hodgetts but this momentum was short lived. For Hobbs, the first 10 ends of her game saw her lose only 2 ends, both singles and she led 14-2. Hodgetts was able to respond to dropping a 4, by picking up her own 4 and at 10 ends she led 13-8. Van Asch had recovered from her one bad end, to win 4 of the next 5 ends to lead 14-7 after 10 ends. Tasmanian was in front by 24 after 30 ends, a margin that would be very difficult for the ACT to overcome. In the remaining ends Van Asch would see Bacchetto win more ends, but apart from 2 on the 12th end, it was all singles, winning 18-16. Hodgetts would also struggle to win ends in the run home and would see the ACT make a dash for the rink win but despite losing 8 shots in the last 4 ends, she would still win 20-19. The big winner for Tasmania was Hobbs. She did win her fair share of ends on the run home and turned her 14-2 margin into a 24-9 win. The Tasmanian women had done enough to win by 18 and claim the 4-1 victory. An impressive performance from a team that are the current holder of 0 shields, until now!
For the Men, a chance at a 5-0 whitewash was at hand. Some of the older players may be able to clarify, but in my time in bowls, this has never happened, although most 5 test series were played against Victoria. The match-ups for the final test were; Lee Schraner vs Sean Robertson, Luke Richardson vs Mark Ebsworth & Mark Nitz vs Rob Craven. The Men got off to a great start, showing this ‘dead rubber; did mean something to them. After 5 ends, Schraner led 7-2, Richardson 8-2 & Nitz 9-2, an impressive start indeed. Leading into the half way mark, it was Richardson that was the most impressive rink. Winning 7 of the first 10 ends, the 7 ends coming consecutively from ends 3 to 9 and the margin was 19-4! The other rinks were also able to maintain their lead but not by the margin that Richardson had. Schraner also won 7 of the first 10 ends and led 13-6, whilst Nitz was locked in a much closer battle but still led by 4, 10-6. Sorry to kill the suspense, but the rest of the game was all in Tasmanian’s favour. Nitz continued to have a good battle against Craven but would win 23-17, including picking up 10 shots in the last 3 ends. Richardson & Schraner were never headed, with Schraner winning 28-13 & Richardson winning 34-10. An impressive win in the 5th test and an unprecedented 5-0 series win. What a great effort by our Tasmanian side!
The only thing to conclude the series was which players would be awarded the player of the Series. For the women, they couldn’t split two players, with Courtney Hobbs & Bronny King taking the spoils. For the Men, the player of the series was Robert McMullen. Well done to these three players. But in reality, well done to all 24 players! The Men have achieved an unprecedented 5-0 victory and the women, who have failed to have much success over the previous years, won the series and did so convincingly, 4-1 being the end score.
Thank you very much to Match Managers Leonie Price & Trevor Docking for providing information to me during the series and to Ben Fidler for his updates via Facebook.
By David Genford