Now for the Singles, who can make the final? (Men & Women)

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David Genford with another preview, this time the Singles, with 16 Men & 8 women remaining.
My prediction mojo is back after picking 3 of the 4 finalists in the Open Pairs yesterday I’m ready to attack the Singles. The Men will reduce 16 players to 2, the Women start with 8 and finish with 2. Who will be the players playing off for the title that everyone wants to win?
Peter Bannister, fresh off his State Fours win will take on Josh Baker. Both Southern players will fancy their chances as both have been playing well. I’m going to give the advantage to Bannister just, as he has been playing very well this week. Selection – P Bannister.
Next up sees Phil Mundy take on David Minns. Mundy will be disappointed to not have advanced in the Pairs post sectional play and he comes up across Minns, a previous champion who is always going to give his opposition a tough battle. I’m going to go with Minns after Mundy let me down when I predicted he would make the Pairs final. Selection – D Minns.
As I mentioned previously, the Tasmanian Singles has been a title that has eluded Lee Schraner and after missing out on the finals of both the fours and pairs, he will be primed for a deep run here. He comes up against Nick Chilcott, who will need to be at his best to challenge Schraner. I can’t go past the best player in the state. Selection – L Schraner.
Michael Sims only had to play one game to make it through to this round of the Singles and he comes up against previous Singles Semi Finalist Jarrah Allan. To be honest, I would love to know the speed of the green before predicting this one. If the green is a touch slower than expected, it really puts Allan’s style of play to the forefront but I’m always told how good the greens in the North are, so I expect Sims to be able to take full advantage of this. Selection – M Sims.
Robert McMullen is another previous winner looking to win his second title. He will take on Michael Taylor. When Taylor is playing at his best, he is capable of giving a scare to the bigger name players and if he can get on top of McMullen early, he is a big chance to win. I think McMullen will be too strong and I’ll take him to advance to the quarter finals. Selection – R McMullen.
I love the next match up. Keith Hinkley from Sandy Bay has only recently joined the bowls fraternity bit has cemented himself into their premier league team. He has proven to be a consistent performer and will push his opponent Gene Ayton. Ayton has the experience on the board but tends to play his better bowls in a fours format than singles. Hinkley is capable of providing an upset here but ‘ll just give Ayton the advantage, especially if he reads this before the game so he can send me a message telling me his singles form isn’t too bad! Selection – K Hinkley.
Another close clash when Cameron Griffiths takes on Josh Appleyard. These two younger players of the sport will be keen to show the crowds they are capable of mixing it with the players with more experience. Appleyard has had good results in singles previously and beaten some quality players including Lachie Sims. Griffiths is also a promising player and I’m hearing good things about him from the North West Coast. I’ll take Appleyard here, he will be confident and as long as he plays the right shots, should be too strong. Selection – J Appleyard.
The last game of the Men’s singles sees Miles Baker take on Lachie Sims. Baker is one of the nicest guys in the Tasmanian Bowls fraternity and he will have a lot of the crowd on his side. But he comes up against Lachie Sims, one of the most promising Tasmanian bowlers, who made it to the final two years ago. Although Sims has also played only one game so far, like his brother, I think he will be too strong for Baker. Sims won the Junior Pairs and will be looking to add another medal to his collection. Selection – L Sims.
And now for the loose predictions with so many unknown variables at play! Bannister over Minns, Schraner over Sims, does that count as a rhyme? McMullen over Hinkley, Sims over Appleyard, but what a battle that would be, they have played each other so many times already. My Final prediction is Schraner vs L Sims. This would be a replay of the 2016 Semi Final that saw Sims defeat Schraner, Schraner would be out for revenge! But I’ll probably be wrong anyway!
My Women’s predictions has been pretty on point since I started to guess the games from the post sectional. I suggested Van Asch would beat Sesara in the final of the Fours and a Triffett vs Harman Final in the Pairs. That must mean my Singles predictions will be pretty exact. Oh, who am I kidding, 50% will be good for me!
The first quarter final sees Vicki Winley take on Lyn Triffett. Triffett had a great day in the Pairs, making it through to the Final but Winley was the Runner Up in the Bowler of the year last season. This should be an enthralling encounter. I’m going to take Winley but it wouldn’t surprise me if both players scored 20 in this one. Selection – V Winley.
Barbara Smith & Karen Stewart is a golden opportunity for both players to move into a semi-final. Smith comes off the back of defeating Deb Lee whilst Stewart played team mate Annie Lewis. I’m torn here on who to select as either player could win but I’ll just lean toward taking Smith. Selection – B Smith.
Alison Venn takes on Marjorie McFarlane in the next quarter final. Venn has had some very strong singles results previously, including winning the 2016 state championship. I think she will have the conversion shots to be able to overcome McFarlane, but don’t write off McFarlane just yet, she has the ability to take it right up to Venn. Selection – A Venn.
The last quarter final is the match of the round for me. Denise Tanner from the Howrah Bowls club took out the very skilful Gaylene Elsworthy in the round of 16 and now meets Yvonne Buckley from Sandy Bay. Buckley will be another tough opponent for Tanner and both players should enter the encounter thinking they are good enough to win it. I’ll just give the advantage to Buckley but a Tanner win would not surprise. Selection – Y Buckley
My Quarter Final hypothetical predictions would be Winley over Smith & Venn over Buckley but only just.
Good luck to all players!
By David Genford
Bonus Preview

Bowlers with a disability Singles preview
In the women’s singles, which is first time separated this year, should see R Simkus as hot favourite. The men’s singles has four sections, section one should be a big tussle between A Tew and S Van Reil. Section two should be R Ormerods, he’s going for his third straight singles title having not dropped a game in two years and adding to his Australian Masters gold and bronze medals. Section three should see A Ryman or S Lockey through and section 4 B Simkus is the red hot favourite. All games will be played at North Launceston. Singles will be 15 shots sectional play with 21 for final. On offer is physically impaired medal,  visually impaired medal, intellectually impaired medal and hearing impaired medal.