State Open Men’s Fours Preview
On the 2nd of January, the Tasmanian State Championships will get underway with the State Fours. The men will be playing at Rosny Park & Sandy Bay, whilst the women will be playing at Sandy Bay. David Genford preview’s the men’s fours for us.
In Section 1, The Rosny Park combination of Oates, Beattie, Duggan & Clark will be hoping to use their home ground advantage and take out the section. Duggan & Clark have been teamed together since Clark joined Rosny Park and since being made skip, Clark is 4 wins from 4 starts. They will be the favourites in this section with the main competition coming from Peter Thow’s composite rink.
Section 2 is a very tough section. Josh Mabb has been named the skip, despite having not played skip in pennant but with Darren Monks & Keghan Booth in good form, either three would be good enough to skip this rink. Whenever you see David McLean in your section, you know he is a chance and with Taelyn Male as his 3, they will be a force to be reckoned with. David Anderson is a strong lead bowler for Adam Gurr who teams up with his pseudo father in law Phil Hobbs and the fourth team consists of Tristan Bakes who made it through to the Semi Final of the fours last year. This could see either team advance but I think McLean will have the experience to outfox the more fancied Mabb.
Section 3 sees the tournament favourites and super rink of Michael Sims, Cameron Tegg, Robert McMullen & Lee Schraner. Sims was a finalist last year but has been wooed to play with Schraner and this four have teamed together with one thing in mind, to win. Often the hardest part of the event is to simply get out of your section and the combination of Josh Appleyard, Ray Boutcher, skip David Minns and Sim’s brother Lachie in the 2 spot, will be keen to ensure the super rink don’t get a chance to play in the post sectional matches. The forgotten rink of this section sees the Springer brothers combine with Stef Graf & Bryce Guy from down south. I think this combination has the ability to pull off the upset, if they get the order of their rink correct. I can’t pick anyone else apart from Schraner but I know there will be lots of teams hoping I’m wrong to give themselves the better chance of winning the title.
The 4th section is an interesting one. Last year’s Runner Up David Genford brings a new look team with only Patrick Hoffman remaining from his 2015 rink and looks to face its biggest challenge from the Buckingham/Beltana rink skipped by Josh Tyrell. Tyrell and Genford met in last year’s semi-final but this time Tyrell moves to the skips position and will want to show the Southern selectors that he deserves a spot in the Southern side or at least the second team. Mark Illingworth skips an Invermay team that have had great success in the second tier Northern divisions and will want to put the Southerners back in their place. I think Genford’s team will be too strong for this section.
Section 5 sees the defending champions, the Douce family lining up together once again. If Hec can once again dominate the lead position, they will be hard to beat. They won’t have it their own way as this is a strong section. When the worst team in the section features a couple of players who have played for their region and state with Munnings, Bennett, Moore & Hay, you know it won’t be an easy day. The Dover RSL team of Carver, Mazur, Allan & Norris will be exuberant but with four players who all prefer to skip, may find themselves wanting when setting up the head. The youngest quartet of the section is my tip to get through. Matt Mitchell, Jake Wyllie, Freddie McKay & Chris Roach all possess the ability to win, can they perform on the day?
Section 6 is another section with 3 quality sides but I think the favourites would have to be Thomas, Baker, Baker & Zaporozec. Their main opposition will be the composite side of Hack, Young, McKibben & Eiszele but once again I think the strength of this team will depend on what order they decide to play in. The dark horses will be the Michael Taylor’s Claremont rink with young Isaac Maughan leading off, but all four players will need to be at their best to take out the section.
The final section is number 7, possibly the most open of all the sections. The Bowls Tas website doesn’t have all players named as yet, buy with the skips of Barry Bash, David O’Neill, Kerry Davern & Brad Johns, all players would think they have a chance to progress to the final 8. I’ll give Brad Johns’ rink the nod but I wouldn’t write off any of the teams.
So, that’s my prediction Clark, McLean, Schraner, Genford, Roach, Zaporozec & Johns. If you think you can out predict me, feel free to leave your selection in the comments of the Bowls Tasmania Facebook post.
Good luck to all bowlers!