Men’s Singles Preview
The blue ribbon event, the Tasmanian State Singles starts on Wednesday the 4th of January. The Men, which will be previewed here, will be playing at East Devonport, Latrobe & Spreyton. 18 players are scheduled to play Round 1 at 9:30am with the other 55 players joining the second round at 11:30am. After the day’s play, 16 players will remain, let’s have a look at the draw and see who those 16 players may be.
East Devonport Players (All 2nd round matches to start)
Will Springer is a previous Runner Up in this event and enjoys the singles format but will likely have to battle Steve Graf in the 3rd round. Graf is an excellent draw bowler and should have the class to get to the 4th round.
Brad Gibson has a tough second round match against Michael Taylor but should be in good enough form to account for him. The likely third round encounter against Julian Frost should be a cracker of a game. I think it will be Gibson to advance.
Michael Sims is one of the form players in the state and should be too good for the players in his section. The biggest threat will come from Matty Jackson from Longford who should make sure Sims is on his game. Sims to go through.
Latrobe Players (Five 1st round matches, then all 2nd round)
With only one of 8 players advancing from this section, there is a lot of quality to choose from. Brodie Baker should get through to the second round but will then need to face either Josh Walker-Davis, who often surprises players or Josh Baker who is a quality performer. I think it will be a battle of the unrelated Bakers. Meanwhile the winner of Jake Wyllie and Al Smith will probably play Pat Hoffman, I think it will be Wyllie and Hoffman. But only one player can advance. I’ll go with Brodie Baker to overcome a very tricky section of the draw.
Anthony Frost and Tristan Bakes complete the first round of matches with the winner playing D Smith. Whoever does advance, my guess would be Frost, they will likely face Andrew Whitmore who should be too strong and will advance to the next day’s play.
Isaac Maughan will be keen to show he is continuing to improve as a bowler but will probably face a determined Daniel Baker in the 3rd round. Baker should be too experienced and advance here.
Chris Dudman has a great opportunity to go deep in this tournament if he is at the top of his game. The favourite amongst some circles will need to defeat the winner of Peter Bannister and Leigh Munnings, both excellent singles players, if he is to be playing on the 7th. I think he will be.
The next section of 4 players will probably come down to who wins the second round match between Gene Ayton and Wayne Ogden. Warren Groves may have something to say about this if he wins his second round match but I think it will be ex-North West Coaster Ayton who will come through with the goods.
The next 4 players could easily argue that they are in the toughest section of the draw. David Minns will play clubmate Tim Douce whilst Matty Mitchell will play Jacob Brown. I think the winner of the Minns/Douce match will advance and after being eliminated in the first round last year, I don’t think Minns will walk away without a win this time round. Minns to win this tough group of 4 players.
If Lee Schraner maintains his focus and concentration, he will be too strong for Jarryd Brown and probably Shane Baker. Schraner will be pleased to see Dudman in the other half of the draw and will be keen to go a few steps better than his semi-final loss of last year.
Spreyton Bowlers (4 matches 1st round then all 2nd round matches)
The 8 players unlucky enough to be drawn in the first round at Spreyton are in for a tough day. The 8 include last year’s finalists Cameron Tegg and Lachie Sims plus Semi-Finalist David Genford, demonstrating that this is probably the toughest section of the draw. Tegg has the easiest run to the third round but will not have it all his own way against either Rodney Murray or Grant Wyllie in round 2. Genford and Sims are likely to advance but it will be Sims that will set up a rematch of the 2016 Final. I’m predicting Sims to get revenge and go through to the 4th round.
The next four players should see Josh Mabb advance but a tricky second round match against Alan Gamble should prove to be a close encounter. Mabb has the form and skills to stay alive.
Another very tough section of the draw sees Greg Douce play Keghan Booth and David Douce play Jacob Brown. All four players have the skills to get through but it will be how the players adjust to the conditions and maintain their focus and concentration. I think Jacob Brown will play two Douce’s but it will be Greg that comes out on top.
Taelyn Male and Chris Roach should have a great battle in the third round if they can win their second round matches. Both players have promising futures in the game and a successful run to the quarter or semi-finals will make sure the Tasmanian selectors take notice! I think Male will take his opportunity here.
Joey Thomas & Ray Boutcher meet in the second round in a match that could go either way. The winner will most likely play Damien Lewis who has a very good record at singles for someone who hasn’t been playing for very long. I think Boutcher can use his experience to be undefeated on the day.
The final section looks to be Rob McMullen’s to win. He will likely face Sam Springer in the 3rd round, who has previously been a runner up in this event. McMullen will be keen to show everyone that he is still a formidable singles player and should advance.
No lucky losers today, win or go home, unless you are told you need to mark of course! Good luck to all players, there are some great matches to be played and the final 16 will be very intriguing indeed!
By David Genford