Tasmania claim the double
The Tasmanian Men & Women will return home victorious as both clinched nail biting test series on the finals day play. The Men managed to wrap up the series with a great come from behind win in the 4th test, whilst the women won both tests today, played in very hot and humid conditions.
With 20 ends to go in the 4th test, the men were behind on all rinks and the margin was 15. Birthday Boy, Lee Schraner was down 3-13 but did want to let this 4th test ruin his day. A break in the play due to an ACT female player collapsing on the green (suspected heatstroke or dehydration, everyone at Bowls Tasmania hopes she is feeling well) gave the men a chance to re-group and get focussed on what they needed to do. The margin was continually reduced 14 shots in 14 ends, 5 shots in 7 ends before a 3 on Mark Nitz’ last end really put the win within touching distance. His 18-15 victory completed a great turn around by his rink but Schraner who had been behind by 10, was now level with 2 ends to play! With Michael Sims drooping a 1 on the last end, Schraner knew he needed 3 shots in 2 ends to win the series. 2 shots on the penultimate end meant the last end was winner take all but the ACT had the last bowl of the test.
The last end was a thriller. Scott Summers & Andrew Whitmore both played resting touchers, whilst the ACT tried to get the jack moving. Rob McMullen was tight when trying to play a cover bowl and moved the jack towards the ACT bowl. It would be Schraner that would need to recover and get the shot back. Having two touchers approx. 6 foot from the ditch, Schraner needed to promote one of those bowls to the ditch. And the bowls gods gave Schraner the perfect birthday present, hitting one of the Tasmanian touchers and landing it 15 inches from the jack. The ACT were unable to draw the absolute shot and the victory was sealed.
The women had a much easier time of it with Rebecca Van Asch & Lyn Triffitt both having double digit leads during the match and taking any stress out of the game. Van Asch maintained her strong lead winning by 11 shots, Triffit by 8 and Bree Mabb losing by 7 shots. The scene was now set for a live 5th and deciding test.
The weather conditions and the need to make transport arrangements, saw the 5th test scheduled for 15 ends. This was the first test played in the middle of the day as the previous two had been moved to night matches. The heat was intense, as demonstrated by the earlier medical scare in the 4th test but there was a series to be won.
All 3 rinks jumped out of the gates well. After 15 ends the margin was out to 10, further extended to 12 after 23 ends. The women were playing well and looked to have the ACT side on the ropes. But with the score at 33-18, it was agreed to call off the match. The conditions of play were deemed unsafe for the players and with Tasmania in the lead, the test was awarded to the Tasmanian team, a great 3-2 victory over three hard fought days.
Whilst there was so many players that could walk away with their heads held high from these test series, there are only two that can be awarded player of the series. Lee Schraner & Lyn Triffitt were the winners, but there are 24 players, 2 coaches and the rest of the support staff that will be very happy with how the last 3 days has gone. Congratulations to all involved!
By David Genford
B Van Asch def S Harmer 20-9
B Mabb def by R Moore 11-18
L Triffitt def M Bachetto 21-13
M Nitz def M MacLean 18-15
M Sims def by I Whybrow 11-16
L Schraner def D Thomas 17-14
Rink results unconfirmed
The Men did not play a 5th test, they played a Jack Attack style match with power play ends which I believe the ACT won.