Tassie Women Lead the Charge.
The women have walked away we three wins in the first round of the Australian Indoor Championships. The three players who managed to work their way into the second round were Maureen Zoon, Rebecca Van Asch and Rosie Geeves.
Zoon made sure she got her money’s worth by waiting until the third end of the tiebreak to claim victory. Zoon, who was playing Colleen Orr, won the first set and appeared to have the upper-hand over her opponent with a 10-4 victory. Orr started to find her weight and put the pressure on Zoon who despite picking up a 3 wasn’t able to prevent Orr from taking the second set. “At that stage of the game, I knew I had to calm myself, get my form back and bowl with confidence” Zoon said. The tiebreak went 1-1 meaning the last end was winner take all. Zoon had the last bowl but didn’t need it as she moves forward to take on Jackaroo Lynsey Clarke in the 2nd round. “A first round win and a match up against Lynsey was what I wanted to achieve, it will be a challenge and a pleasure to play against her” said Zoon.
Rebecca Van Asch was dominant in her straight set win over Shenayde Heldt. Van Asch jumped out of the gates and was never challenged, the score line of 11-1, 14-1 showing how prolific Van Asch’s victory was. This sets up a second round clash vs Natalie Noronha. Noronha will be keen to show the Australian selectors that she can defeat one of its current team members, so Van Asch will need to ensure she is fully focussed heading into tomorrow’s match. Van Asch was very pleased with the way she played; “I put a lot of focus into that first bowl which helped give me a good start each end. In recent times my singles form hasn’t been as strong as it has been for the team games, so I’m trying a different approach this week.” It’s going to be interesting to see if this approach can help Van Asch make it all the way to the final.
Geeves also left the watching Tasmanian contingent on the edge of their seats, waiting until the tiebreaker to claim victory against Claire Kelly. The first set was close with Geeves finishing strong and taking the win 10-7. Kelly fought back well in the second set and took momentum into the second set with a 9-3 score line. But Geeves demonstrated nerves of steel winning the tie break 4-0 and advancing to the second round of the tournament. Geeves will now take on Kelly McKerihen who upset Australian player Chloe Stewart 5-0 in the tie break.
Our other representatives Jarrod Long, Nick Ellis and Kim Saunders were all narrowly defeated. All played well but just couldn’t put convert enough heads to get over the line.
Long got off to a slow start, trailing Andrew Howie 5-0 in the first set but was able to find some rhythm to tie the first set at 6-6 thanks to picking up a 3 on the final end of the set. The second set started in a similar manner with Howie jumping out to an early lead but this time Long was unable to turn the tide in his favour. Long was usually able to play one or two excellent bowls each end, but Howie converted very well and was able to pick up multiple counts too many times for Long to feel in the set. Howie will now take on the defending champion in Jeremy Henry, who looked comfortable in his straight sets victory over Trystan Smallacombe, at 6pm tonight. (Henry would go on to win this matchup).
Ellis got off to a great start and won the first set against his Victorian opponent Anthony Mathison in a convincing 8-2 fashion. Ellis’ momentum was halted in the second set with Mathison improving his consistency on his way to a 9-3 score-line. It wasn’t to be Ellis’ day with a 6-0 score-line in the tie-break ending his tournament. Ellis will be left to rue such a change of form from set to set but unfortunately that is the lay of the land when it comes to sets play.
Saunders was unable to win a set in her match against Samantha Noronha. The 5-10 7-7 score-line doesn’t show how well Saunders fought in this match. In the second set especially, she was 1-5 down but dug deep to only fall one shot short of forcing a tiebreak.
The rest of the day produced some interesting results. Aaron Teys, Stephen Halmai & Ellen Ryan all found themselves upset and out of the tournament whilst Aron Sheriff and Kelsey Cottrell were convincing in their wins. Karen Murphy received a walk over, so it will be interesting to see how she performs in her second round match up. A few second round matches were also completed with Clive Adams set to meet Jeremy Henry in the third round.