Australian Championships Preview
Over the next four days, 7 Tasmanian teams will play in the Australian Championships. Only those who won their State Championships are eligible to play with players from around Australia converging on the Sapphire Coast to Club Sapphire at Merimbula.
The format for the event will be;
Monday – Triples (2 Bowls over 18 ends)
Tuesday – Pairs (Crossover 18 ends)
Wednesday – Fours (15 ends)
Thursday – Singles (25 Up)
For each event, teams are put into two sections of four, with the winners of the section playing for Gold/Silver and the Section Runners Up playing Bronze.
Let’s have a quick look at what our Tasmanian teams will be coming up against.
Men Grant Alford, Mick Sweeney & Lee Schraner
Women Shiran Beavis, Gail Thow & Rose’Anne Howard-Smith
The Men have been drawn against NT, Qld & ACT with their second game against Queensland being live streamed via Bowls Australia’s Facebook page. With Lee Schraner in great form, our Men will have to be confident of playing off for a medal of some colour. However, the NT team skipped by Trystan Smallacombe will enjoy playing on the synthetic surface and can’t be taken for granted.
Our Women will play Victoria, ACT & WA. Our Tassie team will have two very tough encounters with Victoria being skipped by Gayle Edwards & WA being skipped by Kristina Krstic, both players of the highest quality. Fingers crossed our girls can be at their best and provide an upset or two!
Men – Ricky & Luke Richardson
Women – Amelia Bruggy & Lyn Triffitt
Both teams are in sections of 3, with neither of the WA teams making the long trip over.
Our Men will benefit from being able to watch their opposition play, Victoria & NT but will then need to find the speed of the green quickly, the draw-back of having the bye first up. They will play the Victorian pairing from Bundoora Adrian Marchioli & Nathan Murray. Their last match will be against the Darwin pairing of Jason Wilson & Jason Wholohan. One win should be enough for a medal match and with South Burnie in such good form, hopefully the father and son duo can take that into their encounters.
Our women have also drawn NT & Victoria but will play first up against NT’s Lauren Kingsley (Katherine) & Shenayde Heldt (Darwin). Heldt has had some strong results in the NT and recently played at Kingborough Bowls Club in the National Champion of Champions. Their second match will be against the City of Colac pairing of Leeanne Fitzgerald & Rebecca McMahon, McMahon another solid player who will be tough to get past. Hopefully our pairing will be watching the other teams battle it out for second in the last game of the section but neither game will be easy.
Men – No team
Women – Debra Lee, Robyn Leggett, Kim Saunders & Gaylene Elsworthy
Our Women’s team will play ACT, WA & NSW. We have a very experienced team who have played against players at this level on many occasions. Because of this, I think they are a chance to cause a few surprises to their more fancied opponents. They will need to get off to a good start because their final game against a team skipped by Jackaroo Natasha Scott will be very tough to beat.
Men – Lee Schraner
Women – Lyn Triffitt
Not many players can boast the singles form the Lee Schraner currently holds. He is the number one ranked player in Australia for a reason and he will be keen to add another National title to his CV. Schraner will take on Mark Malagorski from the NT, then Robert Craven from the ACT and finally Victoria’s Jay Bye-Norris. Schraner recently defeated Malagorski at the National Champion of Champion, Craven is a stalwart of the ACT team as a skip and Bye-Norris is a promising bowler who will have already played in the Fours the day before. All 3 will be keen to knock off Schraner who will need to be on form to repeat his National success from the Champion of Champions.
Lyn Triffitt finds herself in a section of 3 with the South Australian winner not making the journey over. Triffitt will start with the Bye before then playing Judy Monks from NSW & finally Margret Bacchetto from the ACT. I can’t say I have heard of Monks before but Bacchetto has had a lot of success in the ACT and has won Singles titles before. She will be a very tough opponent for Triffitt. Triffitt will have the benefit of having played in the Pairs earlier in the week and will hopefully be comfortable on the green for her singles encounters.
So, we start tomorrow with the Triples, don’t forget the Tassie Men’s team will be live streamed at approximately Midday. There will be two Women’s games live streamed at 8:45am & 2:45pm with both finals being covered at 6pm. Hopefully we will see some Tasmanian teams in that final game! Good luck to all players, but especially those representing the Apple Isle.
By David Genford