Krizanic holds her nerve, Teys grabs his opportunity

by admin

Carla Krizanic & Aaron Teys have been crowned the 2016 National Champion of Champions in an exciting finish to the three day event.

The morning rounds saw Tasmania’s Jarrod Long play Ryan Bester, who needed two wins to take home the title. Long was slow to start, giving Bester a 5 shot start before hitting the score board. Bester was in a miserly mood, only losing one multiple score in the first 13 ends and picking up a 4 himself to lead 16-6. Long was then able to find some form and started to apply pressure to the Canadian international, picking up 2 twos and 2 threes in a 6 end span to bring the margin back to 2 shots. But a 3 on the last end ensured Bester was only one win away from a National title, 21-16 being the final score.

In other matches a thrilling encounter between Aaron Teys(NSW) & Paul Twyerould was unfolding. With the Victorian leading 19-16, it was looking like 2nd position after 6 rounds was to be his, meaning a chance at taking the title and also a spot in the World Champion of Champions if Bester did win. But Teys finished the stronger taking the lost 5 shots to steal 2nd spot away from Twyerould. Pieter Harris (WA) kept his chances alive with a win over Ashley Halls (SA) and Brett Irvine ensured that Mark Dulihanty would remain winless and anchored to the bottom of the ladder.

In the women’s draw Krizanic held off a determined Lisa Featherby (WA) 21-17, a top of the table clash that now left fate in the Victorian’s hands. Val Smith (NSW) & BrownynChandler (NT) were the other winners but thanks to a superior shots up, Krizanic knew a competitive loss would probably be enough to take the win.

Krizanic’s last game was against Chandler and it would be the Territorian who would give a scare to the home crowd. A lead of 9-5 and 10-6 may have seen some finger nails shorten but Krizanic once again in this event that she is the consummate professional, pulling away to a 21-15 match and tournament win. Krizanic was very happy after the win;
“To have an opportunity to play such a prestige event at the Bowls club where I started playing bowls and then to win, I feel humbled to take the title in front of some of my biggest supporters.” Krizanic was outstanding this week, the only player in both competitions to go undefeated. Hopefully for Australia’s sake, she can maintain this form in this year’s World Championships. “I was happy that I was able to maintain quite a consistent performance over three days. I didn’t let my concentration lapse, so I was always on the front foot, which I think got me over the line.”

The Men’s result was anything but straight forward. Bester, due to his poor shots up, knew a win was needed to take the title, with a loss opening the door for Aaron Teys or Pieter Harris (although Harris needed a big win and Teys to probably lose) to steal the title from under his nose. Bester was playing Mark Dulihanty who at this stage was winless, -73 in shots up and had a for and against of 53 to 126. It all looked like it was Bester’s title to win. But Dulihanty had other ideas. Harris finished his match very quickly. A 21-10 victory meant that if both Bester & Teys lost, he would be the winner. Dulihanty & Teys both had leads of 15-10, Teys knowing that if Bester failed, any win would be enough. Dulihanty did not want to leave without a win and continued to apply pressure, leading 19-10 & 20-13. Bester couldn’t turn the tide and a 21-13 loss put the ball firmly in Teys’ court. At 19-11 it was all but over, unless this event could see another unexpected turn? 20-14, 20-15, could Teys get that last shot? Yes he could. The Australian jackaroo won the game 21-15 and leap frogged Bester on the ladder to claim the crown. Harris’ win sees him win the silver medal with Bester relegated to 3rd place.

And with that result, the hierarchy of Bowls Australia breathe a deep sigh of relief. Ryan Bester would have been a very worthy winner, but the embarrassment of not having an Australian male bowler play in a World Championships event hosted in Australia would have been tough to overcome. Now Aaron Teys will be able to play in front of his home crowd of NSW, who will come out in force to give Teys and I’m sure Krizanic a major home ground advantage.

To round out Jarrod Long’s event, unfortunately a 16-5 lead wasn’t enough with Paul Twyerould taking the victory 21-17. Long has had a great past year and the experience of both the Australian Indoors and National Champion of Champions should hold him in good stead for the upcoming season. “It was a great experience, thanks to everyone from back home for the support!”

The next major event sees the National Over 60’s Sides Championships being held in Western Australia. Good luck to the Tasmanian contingent!
By David Genford