Burnie hosts the first BPL Cup qualifying
The 2017 BPL Cup Tasmanian qualifying kicks off tomorrow night at the Burnie Bowls Club. Starting at 6:30pm, the inaugural competition will see 8 teams from the North West compete for two spots in the State Final. The competition is 2 Bowl Triples, with teams of up to 6 being allowed to substitute at the completion of each end if they wish to. The match will be two sets of 5 ends, with one power play to be used. A power play is worth double points to the team that nominated it. If both teams win a set, a one end playoff will conclude the game. The BPL Cup is modeled around the successful Bowls Premier League and the Jack Attack program played at clubs around Australia.
All teams must have players from the one club and it is Burnie that are favourites to progress to the next round. Even though they have some strong sides, the Mathematics of having 4 of the 8 teams bodes well for them. South Burnie, Spreyton, Latrobe & Penguin have all entered one team each. The draw, conducted by Bowls Australia sees 3 of the 4 Burnie teams on one side of the draw.
The first match will be a family affair and features the only two teams to have entered more than 3 players. South Burnie will see father son combination Luke & Ricky Richardson join with Cameron Griffiths & Nick Chilcott. They will take on the Penguin team featuring three Browns, Jacob, Julian & Jarryd. They are joined by State player Alison Venn. It will be an intriguing match-up, but I think the South Burnie team, likely skipped by Luke Richardson will be too strong.
The second match sees three of Burnie’s Division 1 players take on Latrobe. Latrobe are the only team to have two females playing with Erin Sesara & Dee Harman joined by Greg Douce. They should prove too strong for the Burnie trio of Danny Patmore, Peter Haustein & John Russell. The Burnie team will be hoping to steal a set with the home ground advantage and leave it in the hands of a one set tiebreak.
The third match could be the match of the night. It’s an all Burnie affair and features the two teams that on paper were most likely to go through to the final. But the beauty of the BPL Cup, is the random draw doesn’t care about seedings or what should happen and the teams likely skipped by Mark Nitz & Patrick Smith will play each other in the first round. Nitz has David Gamble & Patrick Saltmarsh whilst Smith has Tony Simpson (who could also skip) and Anthony Harris. Nitz is the experienced campaigner who knows the Burnie surface extremely well but it would not surprise me to see this go to an extra end.
The final match sees Spreyton join the fold with Ian Moore, Michael Higginson & Clinton Steers taking on the final Burnie trio of Robert Pyke, Geoffrey Williams & Joe Simpson. I’d suggest the Burnie team are likely to advance but that is down to the home ground advantage. Whoever wins will be in for a tough match as they play the winner of Nitz/Smith in the 2nd round.
After all is done, and the beauty of the BPL Cup is that it won’t take long, two matches completed by approx. 9:15 I think it will be Mark Nitz and Luke Richardson that will lead Burnie & South Burnie to the State Finals. 6 teams will be out to prove that I’m wrong!
Get along to the Burnie Bowls Club to check out this new and exciting format. If you are in other areas of the state, then make sure you get your entries in! 19th July entries close for Howrah (13 entries so far), 26th July for Kings Meadows (7 entries so far). If you feel up for a travel, teams can enter in more than one region but must enter as the same team.
Good luck to all players!
By David Genford