Men’s Pairs Preview
The Mens Pairs will take place on the 3rd of January at the Sandy Bay, Claremont and Buckingham Bowls clubs. The defending champions are David Douce & Tim Douce, but it should be a cracking event. It would take too long to write about all 15 sections so I’ll focus on the 8 section winners who I think can take out the title, but I will predict all 15 section winners.
Section 2 should see the North/South combination of Chris Roach and Josh Mabb take the win but they will need to play well to ensure both Jacob Brown & Greg Douce and Cameron Norris & Josh Mazur don’t take a win off them and put the pressure on in that final game.
Section 3 on paper looks like a walk in the park for Ray Boutcher and David Minns, but it’s often sections like this that can throw out a surprise. Minns had a great week last year and will be out to ensure he is into the last 16 in this event.
The Section 5 favourites will be Peter Bannister and state representative Darren Monks. Peter has been playing in Division 1 this year but has the skills to be able to step up to this level and support “Chicken” Monks down the other end. Taelyn Male has been playing very well in pennant and being an ex-coaster has teamed up with youngster Jake Wyllie from Burnie. Monks will also need to be weary of ex Rosny Park team mate Graham Hay who has teamed up with Phillip Moore.
Section 7 should see a great battle with all games fought down to the wire. The pairing of John McKibben and Mick Eiszele should be interesting with both strong back end players but who usually play together on the golf course not the bowls green. Verrier and Stanelos are wily competitors and young guns Josh Appleyard and Lachie Sims will be out to show the State selectors they are players of the future. However, my tip for the section is Josh Baker and Joey Thomas. The right mix of experience and guile, I think they will come out on top in a very close section.
I don’t know if it’s boring or predictable to make the team with Lee Schraner the favourite again after predicting the same in the fours, but it was once again obvious that Schraner is serious about winning all three titles by the teams he puts together. When Cameron Tegg is focussed and on his game, there is no better lead in the state and this aspect could build some very strong heads for Schraner to bowl to. They should be too strong for their opponents but if someone was going to cause an upset, the “Talking Scot” Alan Smith and Michael Taylor would be the ones to do it.
The next two sections I look at are wide open and could be considered the “Sections of Death” as a group in the FIFA World Cup is often dubbed. Section 11 sees usual Pairs partners Robert McMullen & David Genford separated and drawn against each other. McMullen has never had much success in the Pairs and Genford’s success has been with Pat Hoffman (Semi & Runners Up) so could it be the quality pairing of Bryce Guy and Steve Graf who win the section? Bryce’s brother Ryan is teaming up with McMullen and Michael Sims (Trevallyn) will be leading for Genford. And then there is Ryan McCoull and Andrew Chamberlain who must be both cursing the luck of the draw but also relishing the chance to play against three top quality pairs. I think the Guy/McMullen pairing will come out ahead, but this is one tough section.
If Section 11 is the “Section of Death”, Section 12 was must be the “Section of Death Part B”. The defending champions, the Douce brothers would have hoped for an easier draw but it’s not to be. They find themselves against State players Brad Gibson and Scott Summers, Summers being recently named the player of the series vs the Victorians in the French Holbrook Shield. Not only will they face those two, but the player who is dead keen to go further than he did last year, Keghan Booth, who after a scheduling mix up by Chicken Monks, sees Anthony Rowe of Kingborough leading for him. I think the defending champions will find it difficult to escape their group and the Gibson/Summers pairing to move on to the next stage of the tournament.
The last section I’d like to look at is Section 14. Daniel Baker & Simon Zaporozec look to be a very strong combination who should be good enough to take out the win. The Walker-Davis/Rowlings combination will be keen to back up their win in the Northern Pairs with some good bowls in this section and Adam Gurr will be keen to get his nose in front as well.
So here are my 15 section winners, Gaffney, Mabb, Minns, Springer, Monks, Hoffman, Thomas, Long, Midson, Schraner, McMullen, Summers, Ayton, Zaporozec & Tyrell. Once again, feel free to predict your 15 winners if you think you have the upper hand on my selections! Good luck to all bowlers.