Victoria take control after the 2nd day

by admin

Victoria took all 4 tests in the second day of play, wrapping up the Women’s series and taking a decisive 2-1 lead in the Men’s series. The Tasmanian Henselite Tigers couldn’t quite get over the line and the men will need to re-group after a heart breaking loss in the third test.
Hats off to the Victorian Women’s team. They have been dominant from the start of this series, winning yesterday’s test by 35 shots and didn’t take the foot off the pedal with victories of 36 & 37 today. Tiffany Brodie maintained her strong performance from yesterday to set up the victory in the second test. A 41-13 defeat of Candice Hodgetts saw some beautiful shots being played by all four Victorian players and the margin was too big for the other two rinks to overcome. Lyn Triffitt’s rink saw strong improvement from the first test, to only go down by 3 shots against Carla Krizanic whilst Rebecca Van Asch lost by 5 to Anne Miles.
Speaking of Miles, it would be she who was dominant in the 3rd test. Hodgett’s must have felt helpless as she continued to see multiple shots disappear with Miles playing some beautiful conversion shots to create multiple scores herself. The end margin of 40-9 puts Miles right in the frame of winning the player of the series for the Vics. Brodie will be trying to take that title herself as she had another win, this time over Triffitt 26-18. The only shining light for the Women today was the rink win of Van Asch against good friend Krizanic 17-15. This was Krizanic’s second defeat of the series and the Tasmanian girls will have to be careful tomorrow as Krizanic will be keen to come out and show them why she has been selected in the Commonwealth Games team.
With three big losses, the selectors may be contemplating some changes for the teams tomorrow. These last two tests can prove valuable learning experiences and it will be interesting to see which direction they go in. Fingers crossed the Henselite Tigers can be more competitive tomorrow and even take a test or two to avoid the clean sweep.
Both Men’s tests today could have gone either way, but it was the Victorians that provided the big bowls when it counted to take the 2-1 lead into the final day. The Vics started the day on the back foot with ex-Australia representative Matthew Flapper having to pull out due to sickness. This saw Nick McIntyre step up into the skips position.
The margin of the test was always less than a handful with all rinks picking up end wins and keeping the scores pretty even across the board. With 13 ends to go, the Vics lead by 6 but a disastrous 3 ends across the board saw Victoria pick up a 6, 4 and 3 to extend their lead to 19 and the chance of victory and slipped through the Tasmanians fingers in a momentary lapse across all rinks. From that stage the Victorians finished off the stronger team taking out the test by 27 shots, a margin that flattered the hosts but one they deserved as they played the closing ends better than our team. The rink scores saw Dylan Fisher defeat Michael Sims 28-21, Barrie Lester defeat Lee Schraner 22-14 & Nick McIntyre defeat Patrick Smith 27-15.
The boys gathered between games and knew what they needed to do, put the 2nd test behind them and focus on the next test. The Victorians were also keen to assert their authority on the series and started off the better of the two teams, leading by 8 shots after 18 ends. The Tasmanian team then started to whittle away that margin, reducing it to 5, 4 and 1 before a purple patch for the Tigers saw them take the lead 8 shots. With only 13 ends remaining, the same time period as the collapse in Test two, the Tigers lead by 7. But then up stepped the number one player in Australia, Barrie Lester. Twice he played absolutely perfect bowls in his last two ends to turn the head over and pick up 3 and 4 shots, added to events from the other rinks saw the score level with one end to play. Nick McIntyre and Michael Sims would play it out and with the Victorians holding shot, Sims drove but missed. McIntyre then played a well-executed blocker, forcing Sims to change his shot. With more of a swinger than a drive, Sims missed his target and the Victorians would hold on for a one shot win. The end scores were McIntyre & Sims 17-17, Lester def Smith 23-18 & Schraner def Fisher 21-17.
The closeness of the third test and the competitiveness of the second test has to give hope to our Men heading into the 4th and 5th test, if they can get past the disappointment of being so close and losing. We have some players in the team who are very experienced and have shown they can play at this level with success over the last few years, and it will be these players who will need to ‘rally the troops’ and ensure everyone is ready to take their opportunities in the 4th and hopefully a live 5th test.
The Test will take place at 9am & 1:15pm at the Deer Park Bowls Club in Melbourne. Good luck to our Tigers!
By David Genford