World Indoors await for Van Asch & Ferguson after Australian success
There has been great media coverage of the success of Rebecca Van Asch at the recent Australian Indoors. Could this be the final box to be ticked to ensure she is picked in the Commonwealth Games team for 2018? Only time will tell, but it can’t have hurt her chances. Van Asch wasn’t the only Tasmanian to do well but obviously taking the title does steal the limelight of our other player’s achievements and great runs.
Both Taelyn Male & Robert McMullen won through to the quarter finals but did so through some high quality bowls. Male impressed the neutrals in the crowd with his poise and shot selection and he took the game right up to Jeremy Henry, who has won the last two Australian Indoor titles. Male took a set off Henry and looked like he was in with a big chance heading into the tie breaker but Henry used his extensive knowledge of the green and was calm under pressure to continually change the head and did enough to take the win. Male should be very pleased with his efforts and will hopefully continue this good form going into the Helensvale 5 a side tournament.
McMullen also lost to one of the eventual finalists in David Ferguson. McMullen was also in great form and was playing very well despite losing the first set. The second set was looking like McMullen was going to level the game up but a fortunate drive from Ferguson which saw the jack go back up the green, was a four shot turn around that McMullen couldn’t overcome. The second set was tied and once again a Tasmanian player can’t take some luck when the jack bounces out of the ditch.
Male & McMullen were very impressive over the week of bowls and will hopefully continue to impress at this level going forward. Maybe a Male winner isn’t too far into the future?
But back to the winners. Van Asch was happy to chat after returning home to Tasmania. How did it feel during that last game, it was a much better start than previously; “I was disappointed with my start in the semi-final so I was really focussed on getting out of the blocks early today which I did. Even when I got behind I was pretty happy with how I was playing, so I just wanted to keep doing what I was doing and hoped that would be enough.” A tiebreak is cut throat but for it to go to into the last end also square must have been tough, “The last end of the tiebreak I really wanted to concentrate on my first bowl and nail it up front and put the pressure on. I knew I had last bowl if I needed it as well. I think my first bowl actually remained the shot for the whole game in the end.” The event is always a tough one, it must be great to take this title, “The Aussie Indoors is always such a great event with such a great field and it is hard to get through each round. I just wanted to focus on each of my rounds and try and get to the pointy end.” With the Commonwealth Games just around the corner, is it hard to forget about that and focus on the tournament itself, “Obviously we’ve got a lot on our plate at the moment leading up to Comm Games selection. It’s important to make the most of every opportunity to put our best foot forward in the hopes of being selected. There’s still a couple of months to go so we’ll see what happens.” The Tasmanian rent a crowd plus the messages and texts from home must have been nice to experience? “The Tasmanian contingent in the crowd today and all week has been fantastic and I have appreciated it so much. It’s been awesome every night to read the comments from everyone back home and have so many people supporting all of us Tasmanian’s up here.” To break the Tasmanian hoodoo in this event must be great but also to see the success of the other players must feel good for the sport in our state? “I was not only disappointed to lose the final last year but it meant that a Tasmanian still hadn’t won in the event. So it’s fantastic to finally crack that and win it for Tassie. I’m so proud of the efforts by all if our Tasmanian’s up here this week, particularly Taelyn and Robert. They were so unlucky to lose their quarter final matches, they both could’ve easily been in the hunt today as well. We’re certainly doing well in the national stage. I’ve been fortunate to do a lot of firsts for Tassie and that’s something I’m so proud of. I’ve been at it a long time now and I’m not sure at what point in my career I am at the moment but it’s nice to still keep making some firsts.”
Van Asch now has some well-earned time at home before moving on to more selection trials and tournaments. Keep an eye out for how she performs at the Mad Dog Singles, a player in such great form must be a big chance and the possibility of the first female to take the title!
David Ferguson captured the Male title and was also kind enough to have some words once he returned home after a busy week of bowls. You must have been thrilled to take this title, “Yes, great feeling to win such a prestigious event. It’s a huge buzz for myself and my Club Engadine.” Having to beat Jeremy on the Tweed Heads surface is no easy feat, what strategy did you bring to the game? “Going into the game I was really just concentrating on what I could control which was my own bowls. I realised my first two bowls were the key and it would setup the ends for me. Jeremy is a super star and you give him any type of chance I knew he would take it. I did try a few different lengths to start thinking what he wouldn’t like, but I quickly realised I just had to go back to what was working for me throughout the event.” A National win like this is a great way to get your name in front of the Australian selectors, is that a goal of yours? “Australian Selection would be great, but I have learnt to stop putting too much pressure on myself regarding selection and if it happens it happens.” Has it sunk in that you’ll now be playing at the World Indoor Championships? “Yes the World Cup is going to be an amazing event and to represent Australia will be an honour I won’t take lightly. Also to do it with Jeremy and Bec will be a lot of fun!”
Thanks to both Rebecca & David for taking some time out of the busy schedule to give us an insight into their thoughts. It’s going to be great to follow both players at the World Indoor Championships next year, as well as Jeremy Henry who qualifies as last year’s winner.
Over the next two weeks the BPL Cup finals will be played and the Mad Dog Singles featuring Brett Wilkie, Steve Glasson, Ryan Bester, Ryan Burnett and some of Tasmania’s best bowlers battle it out at East Launceston. It’s a busy schedule as people prepare for the upcoming pennant season!
By David Genford