State Championships conclude today
David Genford concludes his daily previews with a look at the last day’s play of the Tasmanian State Championships.
This is it, the end of the gala week and multiple opportunities for players to walk away with a State Title. The Open players will be playing for both the Men’s & Women’s Singles and Pairs but we also have Junior titles, bowlers with a disability & bowling arm titles all up for grabs. Let’s go through all of the games.
The morning will see the Pairs take centre stage. It’s a family affair in the Men’s Pairs, whilst the Women’s Pairs sees two players come up against each other that will also play in the Singles later in the day.
The Men’s competition sees the Springer brothers Sam and Will take on the father and son combination of Ricky (Dad) & Luke Richardson. Luke Richardson tasted success in the Fours last year and would love to add another title to the cabinet, especially playing with his Dad. The Springer brothers are yet to taste State success but both have been Runners Up in the singles, can they turn Silver into Gold this time around? I think this battle could come down to the front end with Ricky taking on Sam. Ricky has been a strong bowler for a vast amount of time and should be too strong for Sam, putting the pressure on to Will. I’m going to tip the Richardson’s but it should be a close battle. Selection – L Richardson.
The Women’s title will be between defending champions Dee Harman & Alison Venn who takes on Amelia Bruggy & Lyn Triffitt. Bruggy is the youngest of the group but she has two Australian Open Fours title under her belt, so playing on the big stage won’t frighten her what so ever. I think this should be a cracking match. You don’t often get a chance to go back to back and I have favoured defending champions in my predictions but I think the Bruggy/Triffitt duo should go in as narrow favourites. This could easily go to an extra end. Selection – L Triffitt
Another title to be decided in the morning is the Bowlers with a disability pairs. Alan Ryman and Rick Ormerod take on Colleen Fellows and Charloe Thomas. Fellows comes off winning the Intellectual Impairment Women’s singles yesterday and both Ryman & Thomas will battle each other again for the Singles title in the afternoon. Ormerod could prove the key here. He has won the last two Singles titles and will be disappointed to not be playing for a third. He will be keen to win a State title again and I’ll give him the upper hand over Thomas. Selection – R Ormerod.
That leads us to the afternoon’s play.
In the blue ribband event of the Open Singles, we see Lee Schraner take on Gene Ayton & Lyn Triffitt play Alison Venn.
Neither Schraner nor Ayton have won the Singles previously, Schraner needing the singles to complete a Career Grand Slam of State Titles whereas Ayton is looking for his first state title (I believe!). This is an interesting match-up. Schraner is the better player but when you are expected to win, it’s a different type of pressure put on you. Ayton has nothing to lose. He can be more aggressive if needed, knowing if he doesn’t try something, he might lose anyway. The first 10 ends will be key, if Schraner jumps out to an early start, it could be all over but if Ayton can take an early lead, it’s game on. I could be accused of bias with either selection, with Schraner a current club mate and Ayton a team mate of a Southern Premiership but I’ll have to go with Schraner, although Ayton has reminded me of my “He’s more of a fours player than singles player” quote I made after every win yesterday. I expect nothing less again if he goes on to win. Selection – L Schraner.
Triffitt vs Venn is a great match deserving of a final. Both players have won this event before and neither will be scared of their opponent. Interestingly this game could be decided in the morning. If either player has a big win, the confidence they will gain from that victory over their opponent could prove the difference in this final. Can the loser of the Pairs put the loss behind them quickly and focus on the new game at hand. Because of that fact, I’m going to go with Triffitt, seeing I picked her in the Pairs. Venn can’t be written off though, she is a quality singles player but I can’t pick both players to win! Selection – L Triffitt.
The Junior Boys singles will also be decided in the afternoon. The semi finals will be played in the morning, with Isaac Maughan taking on lucky loser Kyron Daly and Pair’s team mates Josh Walker-Davis will take on Patrick Oldham. I expect the final to see Maughan take on Walker-Davis where Walker-Davis will enter as favourite. Maughan will have a great chance to win the game, as shown in recent efforts during the Junior State-wide challenge, but I just think the singles experience that Walker-Davis has gained will give him the upper hand. Selection – J Walker-Davis.
The Bowlers with a disability singles final will face the same dilemma as the Women’s singles. Alan Ryman and Charlie Thomas will have played each other in the morning only to face each other again in the afternoon. The difference will be that they won’t have skipped against each other. Ryman leads in pennant whereas Thomas skips and I think this could prove vital when the weighted shots are required in this tight battle. I’ll just give Thomas the advantage but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ryman win. Selection – C Thomas.
For the first time we will also see a Bowling Arm State Championships conclude in Tasmania during the gala week. It’s a bit harder to predict the winners as there is still semi-finals to be played in the singles and the final of the pairs. It’s going to be a busy day for anyone who is in both finals. Kevan Gaffney has the chance to do this but will need to overcome Noel Carlon in the semi-final, whilst Kevin Hayes takes on Joe Reissig. I think Carlon will put an end to Gaffney’s party whilst Hayes will defeat Reissig. I then think Carlon will go on to take the title. Selection – N Carlon.
In the Pairs event, the aforementioned Kevan Gaffney teams with Keith Beavis as they take on Heather Jones & Owen Preston in the final. I feel bad for choosing Gaffney to lose in the singles but his solid play over the two days makes me feel as though he can win the Pairs Final. Don’t write off Preston immediately as he can play but I’ll take Gaffney. Selection – K Gaffney.
I think that’s it. It’s an action packed day at the North Launceston Bowls Club, so if you can, come along and watch them play. Good luck to all bowlers!
By David Genford