Positive start to the Sides Championships

by admin

The Henselite Tigers got off on the right foot after the first day’s play at the 2017 National Sides Championships. The Men’s team continued their good form from their Qld series win as a lead up to this event whilst the Women will rue a slow start against the ACT.
Both teams played the ACT in the first round, with the Men victorious by 25 shots, whilst the Women were defeated by 14 shots.
Mark Nitz’ rink got off to a great start, winning by 14 shots. A six on the first end was a great boost to the team’s confidence with the team of Brad Gibson, Lachie Sims & Patrick Smith able to build on that start and lead 17-5 after 15 ends. The rink would only lose two more ends to finish 24-10. Michael Sims continued his strong run as a Tasmanian skip with a 10 shot victory. The ACT team lead by Mac McLean lead Sims 15-13 after 15 ends but the Tasmanian team would not lose another end, picking up a valuable 12 shots in the last 6 ends. Lee Schraner also got off to a great start, with a 7 on the second end but didn’t have it all his own way. Needing 3 on the last end to force a draw, Schraner was only able to grab a two but it was the overall result that was key in this encounter.
The Women’s team got off to a very slow start in their match against the ACT. Rebecca Van Asch was behind 0-11, Lyn Triffitt was behind 3-10 & Candice Hodgetts was behind 4-7, leaving the team a lot of work to do to get back into the encounter. But fight they did, reducing the margin to a mere 4 shots with 11 ends to go. But it wasn’t to be, with some weighted shots not working for our team, despite them being necessary to try and claw back the margin. Van Asch reduced her margin to 4 but lost 4 shots in the last 2 ends to lose 14-22. Triffitt was within 2 with 2 ends to go but lost 5 shots to lose 14-21. Hodgetts fought off a late ACT comeback in her rink to hold on to a 1 shot win despite losing the last 4 ends.
In the afternoon, the Henselite Tigers took on the Northern Territory, with victories crucial in the overall scheme of things. Lee Schraner took on ex-Tasmanian Graeme Kitto and it looked like a big score could be on the card with a 12-4 lead after 10 ends. But Kitto won the next 4 ends and reduced the margin to 2. Schraner won 5 of the last 6 ends to take a 7 shot victory, the biggest of the afternoon for the Men. The other rink to have a win was Michael Sims’. Sims got off to a dream start, leading 14-1 after 8 ends. The NT team were not prepared to lie down and picked up 14 shots over the next 8 ends to only be behind by 1. Thankfully for the Tasmanian side, Sims’ rink lifted over the remainder of the game to win by 5. Mark Nitz’ rink was unable to make it 2 from 2, suffering a 2 shot defeat. The game changed lead on five different occasions with scores level playing the last end but the NT would win that deciding end.
After the game Lee Schraner, who is currently ranked 2nd in Australia, was happy with the day’s play. “It was a tough day but we got the two wins, which is what is important. Our skips have been playing really well and it was great to see Taelyn Male play solidly on debut.”
Our women got off to another slow start but righted the ship quickly to get their campaign back on track. Candice Hodgetts, who was a late call up to the team had a big win, 29-16. Her rink of Maureen Zoon, Dee Harman & Hollie Keen all played well to ensure the victory, with 20 shots coming in the last 7 ends. Lyn Triffitt also had a big win, 34-18 with big scores coming throughout the match. Triffitt’s rink picked up 5 shots on the 5th, 6th & 15th ends but were able to outdo those ends with a 7 on the last end. Rebecca Van Asch made it 3 from 3 for the team with a 10 shot victory. Bug scores the story again with 14 shots from end 7-12 bookended by a 4 and 6.
Rebecca Van Asch was pleased with the way the team bounced back; “We had a disappointing start to the day but we regrouped and had a solid performance on all three rinks this afternoon”.
Tomorrow will see the Henselite Tigers take on the home team South Australia in the morning, followed by an afternoon against Western Australia. These two games will either make or break the campaign with the remaining matches against the three powerhouse states. A solid base needs to be set tomorrow before we aim to surprise the fancied teams in the last two days.
Both defending champions suffered defeats in the first days play. The Victorian Men were defeated by the South Australians and the NSW Women were held to a draw by Western Australia before being defeated by South Australia in the afternoon.
The Men’s Ladder sees Qld, Tas & NSW in the top 3 spots undefeated, whilst the Women’s Ladder has Vic & Qld undefeated in the top 2 spots, followed by TAS.
For more information on the Ladders & Results go to
http://www.bowls.com.au/Events/National-events/Australian-Sides-Championships
By David Genford