Men’s Singles – 16 to 2, who will remain?

by admin on January 5, 2017

The Pairs finalists have been decided and the penultimate day of the Championships are upon us. 16 players remain in the Singles with three games being played, leaving two players to contest the final on Saturday afternoon. There are some names you may not have heard of but they have won their way to tomorrow’s games and no-one can be discounted. All matches will be at the Devonport Bowls club. My 6 out of 8 in the Pairs yesterday slightly redeemed by efforts in the fours but I dare say anyone that doesn’t get picked by me isn’t too fazed! The prediction of games will be in order of the draw, so whoever wins Match 1 plays the Winner of Match 2 etc.
The first matchup is Will Springer & Robert Eudey. Springer has previously made the final of this event in 2014 whilst Eudey is more of an unknown to those players not from the North West Coast. From the Ulverstone bowls club, he was successful in beating Julian Frost and Michael Taylor, so he has some good form behind him. I’m actually going to pick the outsider here and say Eudey goes another step into this event.
Michael Sims has returned to the final of the Pairs but his focus tomorrow will be on his singles quest. He comes up against State junior Josh Walker-Davis. Walker-Davis defeated Josh Baker, Brodie Baker & Jake Wyllie, so I think it’s about time people stop being surprised by his results. The boy can play singles and has also had a good run in the Pairs and Fours. But now his level of opposition increases once again. The key to this match will be the first 10 ends. If Walker-Davis can jump out to a good start, Sims will need to control his emotions and ensure he fights hard to get back into the game. I think Sims wins this one but Walker-Davis should keep it close.
Sims’ partner in the Pairs Daniel Baker also finds himself in the last 16 of the Singles and he will come up against Andrew Whitmore. Both players have won State Pairs before but not the Singles, although Whitmore has been the State Champion of Champions winner. Both players have had a great week and went into the championships with great form behind them. Whitmore is a genuine threat to win this event and I’ll pick him to pip Baker in this one.
One of the favourites for the title Chris Dudman will play Mark Harris in the next match. Dudman overcome the in-form Peter Bannister whilst Harris defeated Gene Ayton. Harris is a very good draw bowler but Dudman’s consistency will see Harris need to improve on his weighted shots. Harris is going to have to be at the top of his game and hope Dudman has an off day if he is to steal this match. Dudman should have the focus and concentration to ensure he advances.
An intriguing match-up starts the bottom of half of the draw. Tim Douce returns to his previous club of Devonport to play Lee Schraner, who was a semi-finalist in this event last year. This will be a great match to watch. Douce will play some shots that you don’t expect and don’t think he can pull off, but when on form he makes the impossible happen. If this is accompanied with some narrow misses for Schraner, Douce could get Schraner off side and then it will be a battle to the end. I think Schraner comes out on top but Douce will enter this match up very confident and up for the challenge.
The defending champion Cameron Tegg will be keen to retain at least one of his titles that he won last year and this is his last chance. He plays fellow Southern player Josh Mabb, who has only had to win one match to get to this point thanks to a second round walk over. The easier day may suit Mabb whilst Tegg has had to play a full day on just about every day of the championships. Is this already a battle of attrition or will both players be right to go? Tegg wasn’t happy when I picked Lachie Sims to get out of his section (I had the pleasure of watching him read my article) so I better pick him to win this one. If Mabb does come out on top, that should not surprise anyone, these are two quality bowlers going up against each other.
Two young guns line up in the next match, Taelyn Male and Jacob Brown. Male has been playing very well, impressing people during State-wide pennant, so a deep run in this event has to make the State selectors take notice. Jacob Brown will be keen to make sure they are watching him! After beating two Douce’s (David & Greg) Brown has shown he is in good form. Once again, this is a match that easily go either way. I’ll go with Brown as he seemed very cool and composed when I saw him play against Greg Douce. However, Male will know this is a golden opportunity to make the quarter finals and he can’t be written off.
The final match of the round of 16 sees Joey Thomas play Rob McMullen. For such a quality singles player, it has been a while since McMullen has been in the pointy end of this event. He will be keen to not only win this match but have his sights set on three wins. Thomas will ensure that McMullen doesn’t have all his own way. Having previously defeating Ray Boutcher and Damian Lewis, Thomas has been playing well, McMullen will need to be playing well to win. I’ll pick McMullen to win this one.
If those predictions are correct (and we all know they won’t be) that will see Eudey/M Sims, Whitmore/Dudman, Schraner/Tegg, Brown/McMullen. As for the Fours, if only two of these are correct, it will still be some great matches played in the quarter finals. Best of luck to all players involved.
Tomorrow will also see the start of the Tasmanian Bowlers with a Disability Championship. 29 players will be split into two sections with one section playing at Devonport and one at East Devonport. Players will try and earn as many points as possible, with the players with the most points from each section playing off in a final.
Last year’s winner Rick Ormerod has shown a high level of commitment to defend his title, flying in from the National RSL Championships and driving from Hobart to Devonport all in the one day. After a dominant performance last year, he will go in as favourite but with twice as many entries as last year, anything could happen. Daniel Smith is a previous winner of the event, Leroi Court has won an Australian Open Gold for the Vision impaired, Stephen Locky plays very well from his wheelchair and Charlie Thomas is always consistent and can’t be discounted. Good luck to all players in this event!
By David Genford