Australia complete the sweep a day early
The Australian team as a whole, turned it up another notch today and repeated yesterday’s result of winning every discipline but today was done in a more clinical fashion. No disciplines required a tie break of shots up to decide the test as there was yesterday. The Women’s development team and the Para Sport squads won 5 of the 6 matches today whilst all other disciplines won 4 of 6.
Tasmanian Lachie Sims couldn’t maintain his perfect record but the five young men playing in the Development Series can hold their head high as they played extremely well and showed the Australian selectors that they can handle the pressure of playing in this type of series.
Sims again played in the two spot for the Fours matches (Session 1 & 3) and lead in the Triples (Session 2) as the line ups remained unchanged from the first test. In the first match, the Fours team was always behind the 8 ball and couldn’t quite close the gap going down 11-14. The second match that Sims played in was an enthralling encounter that had the crowd on the edge of their seats. The lead changed hands with no team able to kick away from the other. Coming into the last end the score was level, with the Australian team having the advantage of the last bowl. That can also mean the skip is under pressure and he was, 2 and a measure down in the head, Corey Wedlock needed to come through with the goods and that he did, playing a bowl exceeding his years and getting the shot and the match 16-15. The third match was the most comfortable for the Australians but the margin was never excessive a 14-9 result a fair assessment of the match.
So that’s 5 out of 6 for Trevallyn’s Sims, a mighty fine effort for an Australian debut!
Whilst Sims is having his debut series, Rebecca Van Asch played her 150th match for Australia in the third session of today’s play. It has been a great career to date for the Invermay President and Bowls Tasmania CEO, with 3 World Championship titles under her belt and with this Trans-Tasman success, hopefully it will help to lead to a crack at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
In the first session, Van Asch was once again skipping the fours team, this time having Lynsey Clarke playing 3, Kelsey Cottrell leading and Carla Krizanic playing two. The team seemed to play well together, ensuring the New Zealand team couldn’t make much of an impact on the scoreboard and going on to win 15-10. A loss for Natasha Scott in the Singles meant this discipline was still in the balance. In session two Van Asch made her first pairs appearance, skipping Cottrell, who she had won the 2012 World Championship with. But it was the Kiwi pairing of Val Smith and Jo Edwards who would gain the upper hand and despite a fightback during the match, the experienced New Zealand pairing went on to win 18-15. Once again the matches were split with the Karen Murphy skipped Triples winning 17-10.
This meant the test for the Open Women would come down to the last session. Van Asch was moved to the three spot with Natasha Scott coming into the Fours and skipping the rink. This isn’t a demotion for Van Asch as the selectors deliberately picked 6 players for this 5 player series and have constantly changed the positions around. During the 3rd test, Van Asch is scheduled to not play in the 2nd session. The New Zealand team skipped by Katelyn Inch, led early 3-1 but the Australian four took the ascendency and ran away dominant winners 17-10. The close match was that of International superstars Murphy & Edwards who gave the crowd a great encounter with scores locked 17-17. With time running down Murphy won what would prove to be the last end as the bell rang just before she rolled the jack down the green to start a new end. The two victories locked up the test for the Women.
After the match Van Asch was asked about how the team felt after locking up every discipline after two tests, “We’re absolutely over the moon. We couldn’t be happier with this result so far. But we’ll be doing everything we can to finish off in style tomorrow as well.” There are no dead rubbers for any of the players as everyone is keen to put their best foot forward in front of the Australian selectors. Recently for Van Asch, she has been the only Tasmanian on the National scene but the inclusion of a fellow Apple Isle representative has been a good experience, “It’s been fantastic to have a fellow Tasmanian this series and to be part of a winning team” said Van Asch.
To view more information about the other disciplines, go to the Bowls Australia summary which also has links to the results of Session 1 and 2.
By David Genford