2018 Open Fours Champions
Launceston Commonwealth Games qualifier Rebecca Van Asch skippered an in-form team to the state open women’s fours championship at the North Launceston Bowls Club on Saturday.
The 2017 joint Tasmanian athlete of the year, Gaylene Elsworthy, Kim Saunders and Deb Lee were simply too good for Erin Sesara, Dee Harman, Alison Venn and Janeanne Thompson.
The winning side got out to a sensational start and were leading nine-nil before their opposition managed to register a score.
They pushed ahead to a healthy 15-4 advantage at one point before the final end was abandoned with the winners leading from start-to-finish in triumphing 20-8.
It was is the fourth time in five years Van-Asch’s team has taken out the championship title.
“For me personally, it’s the only event I’ve been able to play in this week because of my work commitments as Bowls Tasmania chief executive, so it made me a little bit more hungry to try and be successful,” the 29-year-old said.
“The winners of both all of our state open championships will head to the national championships later in the year.
“That added a bit of extra incentive being the only state championship I’ll get to line-up in this year’s event.”
Van Asch, a multiple world champion, will make her Commonwealth Games debut on the Gold Coast later this year after missing out in Glasgow four years ago.
She is only the second Tasmanian to qualify for the Games to date, joining Launceston triathlete Jake Birtwhistle.
The Peter Bannister-skippered team including Steve Graff, David Quarrell and David Heron secured the state open men’s fours title in emphatic fashion – overcoming 20 teams that entered the race.
The champions defeated Matthew Jackson, Daniel Baker, Lachie Sims and Josh Baker in a lop-sided final 21-10 after hitting their straps early and leading the entire match.
The Baker team tried to fight back and had multiple dead ends throughout the match and took a few ends late in the game in an attempt to revive their challenge, but Bannister’s talented quartet held firm.
The fours championship finals were the only events held on Saturday with Tasmania’s best disability juniors and bowling arm to start on Sunday.
Both the men’s and women’s pairs will also continue in the greater Launceston region, with another day of sweltering summer conditions forecast.
The pairs and singles grand finals will be played out on gala week’s final day on Tuesday.
The Open Fours Finals were Live Streamed on the Bowls Tasmania Facebook Page and can be viewed by following this link; https://www.facebook.com/bowls.tasmania/videos/1983030251964815/