Tassie Men into 3rd, whilst Victoria (Men) & NSW (Women) are the ones to catch
The Henselite Tigers had a mixed day, with the Men continuing to be competitive but unable to win two games, whilst our Women struggled to put the score on the board to pressure their opposition.
The morning game saw us take on the might of NSW, who hadn’t had the best of starts in the first two days and were out to stamp their authority on our match up. Despite taking an early lead, the Tigers never allowed the NSW Blues to have too much of an advantage. Lee Schraner was playing good mate and Commonwealth Games Single Gold medallist Aaron Wilson, but Wilson had his measure. Despite winning the first end, Schraner would lose the next 7 to be 2-12 down. The other two rinks were doing their best to cover this score. Nitz was leading David Ferguson, a player many think should feature in the Jackaroos set up, 8-6 after 10 ends and Michael Sims was in front of Ben Twist 8-5 after 9 ends. The back end of the game would see some big losses prove crucial, with both Nitz and Sims dropping 5 shots on their 11th & 18th end respectively. You can’t afford to do that when you’re already on the back foot against a strong team. Schraner did start to win ends against Wilson but an end score of 16-24 was a fair summary of the match. Nitz did get back in front against Ferguson after dropping the 5, leading 14-13 but didn’t win another end with Ferguson running out 23-14. Sims ended up securing a crucial rink win (rink wins are the tiebreaker if teams are tied on points) against Twist, picking up consecutive 3’s after dropping that 5 and despite dropping a two on the last end, a 20-18 victory was well deserved.
The Afternoon was very different affair. The Men got away to a strong start and were never headed. To me, this demonstrates the major improvements this team has made over the last 5 years. Matches against the ACT were always dangerous because we relaxed and thought about how close we had been to the other states, only to lose focus when it counted. This team started strong and kept the foot down. An end margin of 81-40 summed up how our team played. The big winner was Nitz who won 29-10 against Peter Watts, including a dropped 3 on the last end but 19 shots and one end lost between ends 10 & 20 proved the difference. Schraner was back to form winning 28-12 against Robert Craven, scores of 4,4,5 on the 16th, 18th & 20th ends put the result beyond any doubt. Michael Sims had the closest match against Mac McLean. A 5 on the 12th end put him 3 shots in front but McLean would level the scores on the 15th end and again after 18 ends. With 3 ends to go, the pressure was on but Sims would not lose another end and would win 24-18. A very handy all rinks win, moving us into 3rd position overall.
It hasn’t been an easy time for our Henselite Tigers Women’s side and it doesn’t make things any easier when you line up against NSW who have an amazing team on paper, led by their three skips, Karen Murphy, Natasha Scott & Kelsey Cottrell. It also doesn’t help when your star player is feeling incredibly poorly, with Rebecca Van Asch having to pull out of a game yesterday and not able to play a full game today. That was never going to change the overall score line, but it doesn’t help. NSW would run away 80-40 winners in what was a dominant performance. Van Asch lined up against Murphy but at 7-22 was unable to continue, with Hobbs taking over as skip, but it would be Murphy that would win 30-13. Hodgetts got off to a nightmare start against Cottrell down 0-11 after 4 but it didn’t get much better with the end result being 9-28. Erin Sesara had the closest battle against Natasha Scott, fighting from a 4-16 score after 10 ends, to be within 2 shots with 3 ends to go. A dropped 4 made life difficult and consecutive singles was not enough to force a draw, the end score 22-18 to Scott.
The afternoon match against the ACT gave our women a chance to register their first win but unfortunately Van Asch was too unwell to take her place in the team. The ACT would be the team that would get off to the better start with two rinks playing particularly well. Margaret Bacchetto led Hobbs 13-3 after 12 ends despite never picking up a score of more than 2, Sharon Harmer led Hodgetts 17-7 after 9 ends. The bright spot for Tasmania was the Sesara rink who was playing very well and led 13-3 after 10 ends. Unfortunately all 3 ends pretty much stayed the same, with Sesara’s victory unable to cover for the other two losses. Hobbs would lose 12-23, Hodgetts would go down 14-34 and Sesara was impressive in her 27-12 victory. Two more chances await for our Women to get into the winners circle.
In the other matches in the Alley Shield, Victoria won their top of the table clash against the defending champions South Australia whilst WA & Qld had big wins against the ACT & NT respectively. In the afternoon matches Victoria had another top of the table clash and had a come from behind win to defeat Queensland by 3 shots and put destiny into their own hands tomorrow. The other two results were one sided with SA & NSW accounting for NT & WA.
In the Marj Morris Trophy, the Northern Territory rode their home ground support to defeat Qld by 1 shot, WA & Victoria easily accounted for ACT & SA respectively. In the afternoon the Northern Territory made it two wins for the day, defeating SA by 2 shots. The NT may have picked up Shenayde Heldt from WA but the focus and practice that has been put into this series has paid off. They know the greens well and when you win by one and two shots, that practice and dedication on these synthetic surfaces really matter! NSW demolished WA & Queensland were far too strong for Victoria.
The brief ladders look like this
Men – 1 VIC (15), 2 SA (12), 3 TAS (9), 4 NSW (9), 5 QLD (9), 6 WA (6), 7 ACT (0) & 8 NT (0)
Women – 1 NSW (15), 2 VIC (12), 3 NT (9), 4 ACT (9), 5 WA (9), 6 QLD (6), 7 TAS (0) & 8 SA (0)
Tomorrow Tasmania take on South Australia & Queensland. For our Men, two wins could mean back to back silver medals with an outside chance of gold, but two wins will not be an easy road. Our Women sit in 7th and take on the two sides that are closest to them on the ladder, so a win isn’t out of the question but the players will be keen to lift on their performances to date.
In the Alley Shield the Vics take on ACT to give themselves one hand on the trophy in the morning, whilst NSW should be too strong for NT & Qld take on WA. In the afternoon the Vics will need to take on NSW and if SA defeat us in the morning they will be cheering on NSW and trying to defeat WA to snatch the title. NT & ACT could be fighting it out for the wooden spoon in the last round.
The Morris Trophy will be decided if NSW defeat NT on all rinks, whilst Victoria take on the ACT and will be cheering on the NT at the same time. Qld & WA will be the last game of the morning. In the afternoon the Vics will have a chance to upset the NSW Blues, if NT wins a rink (or better). The NT will take on ACT with both teams looking for an unlikely 4th win. WA & Sa round out the competition.
Good luck to all players, especially our Henselite Tigers!
Round 4 Men
Tasmania def by NSW 50-65
Schraner def by Wilson 16-24
M Sims def Twist 20-18
Nitz def by Ferguson 14-23
Round 4 Women
Tasmania def by NSW 40-80
Van Asch (subbed during the game to Hobbs) def by Murphy 13-30
Sesara def by Scott 18-22
Hodgetts def by 9-28
Round 5 Men
Tasmania def ACT 81-40
Schraner def Craven 28-12
M Sims def McLean 24-18
Nitz def Watts 29-10
Round 5 Women
Tasmania def by ACT 53-69
Hobbs def by Bacchetto 12-23
Sesara def Moore 27-12
Hodgetts def by Harmer 14-34
Day 2 Recap – Click Here
Day 1 Recap – Click Here
Alley Shield Ladder – Click Here
Marj Morris Ladder – Click Here
By David Genford