State Fours Finals Preview – Men’s & Women’s

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David Genford previews the Fours for both the Men and the Women.
Two champions will be crowned after the day’s play with both the Men’s & Women’s Fours coming to a conclusion. Three games will be played, the quarter, semi & finals. So far my predictions are sitting at 15 of 32, just below 50%, but that won’t stop me and I’m also venturing into the world of the Women’s competition.
The Fours will conclude at North Launceston bowling club, starting at 9:30am. The first men’s quarter final will be between David Minns and Lee Schraner. Minns has three fellow North Launceston players with him, Ray Boutcher, Miles Baker & Wayne Ogden where as Schraner is joined by two of the players that joined with him in being the 2016 champions, Michael Sims & Robert McMullen, with Josh Appleyard leading for the four. Schraner didn’t have everything go his way during the sectional play, having a close couple of results, whereas the Minns combination progressed easily. Schraner will have to be the favourite but this will be a closer match then what most people think. Selection – L Schraner.
Keghan Booth versus Josh Baker is the second match of the quarter finals. Booth’s rink of Michael Taylor, Isaac Maughan & Josh Walker-Davis played well in their section knocking out the defending champions and will need to maintain that form for the whole day. Baker’s rink come through as the second best lucky loser. This is another match that has the potential to go to an extra end it’s that even. Booth has been in good form across the week and I’ll pick him to win just. Selection – K Booth.
The Douce brothers originally were scheduled to play with Andrew Whitmore but was replaced with another Moore, Phillip. The combination played very well in the sectional play, as the Douce brothers usually do. They face the best of the lucky losers, skipped by Peter Bannister. They came through their section after narrowly losing to Schraner, which is a strong form line to come from. I feel bad saying that this will be a close game but I really think the first three quarter finals are set up to be that way. I’ll just give the advantage to the Douce’s but a Bannister win would not be surprising. Selection – T Douce.
The last match sees Brodie Baker’s composite rink take on John Bowerman’s East Launceston rink. Both teams were lucky to progress, maybe not lucky but they just got through, Baker winning his section by 1 shot with the last bowl of the day and Bowerman getting through as the 3rd lucky loser by only one shot. Both teams will be keen to take advantage of this opportunity now presented to them. I think Chris Roach could be the key for Brodie Baker. He played very well in the sectional play and should provide Baker with some great opportunities to convert heads. Selection – B Baker.
From then on it’s hard to predict as I’m usually wrong but if Schraner plays Booth, I’ll take Schraner and Douce vs Baker I’ll go with Douce. That would provide a great final with Schraner getting the chocolates for the second time in three years.
Now to the Women’s quarter finals. We have 9 section winners taking on 7 lucky losers. Who can get through to the Semi Finals?
The only game that sees two section winners take on each other, is the first quarter final. Rae Simpson leads a composite team featuring Jean Claridge and the Buckley sisters and they come across a star studded team of Kim Saunders, Deb Lee, Gaylene Elsworthy & Rebecca Van Asch. Van Asch is only entered in the Fours for this week and will be keen to walk away with a State title. I think she will have the star power to get through this match but it won’t be easy with Simpson never one to give up. Selection – R Van Asch.
The next quarter final provides one of the most interesting match of the day. Jenny Tirant from Rosny Park has teamed up with three of the younger female players, Jorja Maughan, Lauren Banks & Logyn Curtis. They come up across an experienced team from East Launceston lead by Maureen Zoon. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the exuberance of youth will get them over the line. As long as they can overcome any nerves or view of pressure put on them. Selection – J Tirant.
Sophie Fletcher has been having a pretty strong week and comes up against Maxine Viney and her Kings Meadows team. Both players are previous state representatives and it may come down to which front end can provide the most support to their skips. I’ll just give the edge to Fletcher’s rink. Selection – S Fletcher.
The last quarter final sees Erin Sesara take on Sonia Martyn. Sesara won this event last year but brings a completely different rink featuring Dee Harman, Alison Venn & Janeanne Thompson. Martyn’s rink features the experienced Mary Beaumont & Judy Reeve accompanied by Nadine Seabourne. I think Sesara’s rink has the form on the board and should be too strong for Martyn’s team. Selection – E Sesara.
That would see R Van Asch against J Tirant and S Fletcher take on E Sesara. I would say that previous pairs champions Van Asch and Sesara could be playing against each other in the final with Van Asch the favourite to win. But games don’t get won on paper, they are won on the green, so good luck to all players!
By David Genford