VIC Men & QLD Women both go back to back
The Victorian Men overcome an early morning hiccup and some late afternoon nerves to claim the Senior Sides Championship. The Queensland women needed results to go their way in the last round and they did, leaving them on top of the ladder at the right end of the event.
The Victorians entered the day undefeated but well aware they had tricky matches against WA and NSW on Day 4. The West Australian team proved very tricky indeed with the home side winning by 2 shots, giving great hope to the South Australian team who defeated Queensland and were now equal on wins with Victoria but still needed the NSW team to win to take the title.
The afternoon match was a very closely fought affair and as it came down to the final ends, it was anyone’s match. South Australia had comfortably accounted for the Northern Territory on all 3 rinks and I’m sure their supporters had stopped watching the SA game and were cheering on NSW to beat Victoria! But the NSW Blues couldn’t quite get over the line, the Victorians winning by one shot, giving them the win and the title. South Australia would run second by only one rink win (16 to 15) with WA taking home 3rd spot.
The Tasmanian men today were admirable in defeat with two close losses rounding out their event. In the morning the margin would be 4 against NSW and the afternoon it was 6 against WA. This left the Men with 3 wins and 4 losses, a 6th place finish and a lot of thoughts of what if! Apart from the game against Victoria, the other losses of 2, 4 & 6 could have easily been turned into wins but that’s the nature of the sport, both teams are trying their best to finish with their noses in front. Special mention must go to Trevor Docking’s rink of Leigh Munnings, Wayne Willcox & Peter Zoon. This rink finished with 5 wins and 2 Losses, with the losses being margins of 2 & 5. This left them ranked 6th of the 24 rinks, a great achievement! Trevor Docking was named as Tasmania’s player of the tournament.
A special mention should be given to Ian Ross from Victoria and Kenneth Holtham from South Australia as both men’s rinks went through undefeated with Ross having 65 shots up and Holtham 63.
The NSW Women knew that they needed to win both of their remaining matches against Tasmania & Victoria to ensure the Queensland team could not go back to back. Thus was because despite being one win ahead of Qld, Qld had a superior record in rink wins, the first tie breaker used if the wins are equal. In the morning game NSW easily accounted for Tasmania 71-43 and Qld only just got across the line against SA by 2 shots. By only winning 2 rinks against SA, the Qld women knew they needed to win on at least 2 rinks against the ACT and hope that NSW lost to Victoria.
Queensland dominated their game against the ACT thanks to a 32-8 win by Jennifer Blundell, meaning just as the Men’s competition unfolded, what was happening on another green was more important than their game. Could NSW slip up and lose their first game and the title? Beth Quinlan of NSW had not lost a match in the first 6 rounds and once again was unstoppable winning 22-12 and putting NSW in a great position. But the other two rinks couldn’t take advantage of this 10 shot win. A 10 shot loss and a 3 shot loss gave the game to Victoria and the championship to Qld and just like then men, the difference was one rink win, this time 15 to 14! And so it would be Queensland who would once again return home with the shield in hand.
For the Tasmanian women it wasn’t the best day at the office with a 28 shot loss to NSW and a 15 shot loss to WA. In the NSW match Jeanette Late lead very well for Gaylene Elsworthy who was only 3 shots from the aforementioned Quinlan with one end to go but a loss of 3 meant the rink win wasn’t to be. Against WA the overall score was tight for a long time but a loss of 7 shots on one end broke the back of the women with Kim Saunders almost able to get a win but ultimately going down by 1. With 1 win and 6 losses the women finished in 6th position. The player of the series was Lyn Triffitt.
As mentioned previously Beth Quinlan went through the 4 days undefeated, the only female skip to do so, thus finishing on top of the skips ladder with 84 shots up.
This concludes the Bowls Tasmania coverage from Osborne Park, Western Australia. Thank you to everyone who was following along from home, I know the players appreciated the support and thank you for your kind words about my articles. I need to give a massive shout out to Phil Hobbs and Deb Lee. These two match managers were very helpful in relaying information back to me and providing photos of score cards to help me talk about crucial parts of the game. The detail given wouldn’t have been possible without them. Thanks also to Phil again and Rose’anne Howard for providing regular updates during the days play on Facebook. If you haven’t already joined the ‘Bowls in Tasmania Updates’ Facebook group, then you should do so. Lots of people are working hard to get information out to Tasmanian bowlers and Mainland bowlers check in and see what the scores are too. Thanks again and well done to all the bowlers in WA for putting in maximum effort and representing our state with pride!
By David Genford