Tassie Men mount comeback to level the series
Two tests have been played at the Sandy Bay Bowls Club and it is the Men’s event that is on a tenterhook. Let’s review the days play.
The Women’s tests didn’t go to plan for the Tasmanian Henselite Tigers. Victoria were dominant all day and will take a 2-0 lead into Day 2. In the first test Courtney Hobbs took on Tiffany Brodie and at 7-7 after 6 ends, things looked pretty close. But a dropped 4 and then losing 7 of the next 8 ends, meant Brodie took full advantage ending up winning 25-16. Candice Hodgetts took on Samantha Shanahan but only won 2 of the first 17 ends finding themselves down 3-26, eventually recovering to 10-29 thanks to a 5 on the last end. The one shining light for Tasmania was Lyn Triffitts rink who played against Lisa Phillips. An 11-3 lead after 8 ends was a strong start that Phillips was never able to recover from, Triffitt ending up victorious despite losing the last 3 ends with the score ending up 21-14. That left the Victorians up by 21 shots and taking a 1-0 lead into the afternoon.
The afternoon matches only got worse for our Women’s teams. Hobbs was only to win 7 of the 21 ends against Shanahan, going down 9-25. Triffitt was also only able to win 7 ends, losing 13-29 against Brodie. The closest game saw Hodgetts take on Phillips. After 16 ends Hodgetts led 17-15 but losing 6 shots in 2 ends and only able to reply in singles, saw Victoria make it 3 from 3 and a 24-19 victory to Phillips. Tasmania will need to be on the top of their game tomorrow, if this game is to enter live matches for the fourth and fifth tests.
The Men had two tests played with only 6 shots separating the two teams over these tests. With the Men defending their win in 2017, they knew the Victorians would be out to take the trophy back off them and midway through the second test, it looked like Victoria would win all four of the tests played today. In the first test, it was a closely run thing. The biggest winner for Victoria would be Barrie Lester vs Lee Schraner. Lester led Scharner 11-4 after 9 ends but Schraner fought back to win 4 of the next 5 ends and reduce the margin to 1, 12-11 after 14 ends. A 4 on the 15th end to Victoria was combatted by 5 shots over two ends for Tasmania and at 16-16 after 17 ends, Schraner would have felt he had the momentum to overrun his mate Lester. But it wasn’t to be, with Lester picking up scores if 4 & 3 in the last 4 ends and an end result of 17-24 to Lester. The closest result was that of Luke Richardson vs Matthew Flapper. Richardson got off to a strong start leading 7-2 after 6 ends. 4 consecutive ends to Victoria saw them take the lead 8-7, before both teams would steal the lead off each other. Flapper would pick up a 5 on the 19th end, making it too difficult for Richardson despite picking up 3 shots on the last 2 ends to lose by 1, 17-18. Tasmania would pick up one rink win in the morning with Mark Nitz defeating Matty Ellul. Nitz found himself down 2-11 after 6 ends but fought back well to get back into the game. 10 shots over 4 ends, took them into the lead but scores of 3-2-5 on ends 16 to 18 really gave Nitz the upper hand. Ellul would even win the last 3 ends but Nitz would win 25-22. Victoria would win the test by 5 shots and the very important 1-0 lead.
In the second test, things looked dire or Tasmania. Schraner trailed Ellul 0-12 after 5 ends, Nitz trailed Flapper 7-10 after 7 ends & Richardson trailed Lester 0-13 after 6 ends. A 2-0 lead for Victoria looked all but assured. But Tasmania was not going to sit back and allow this dominance to occur. At 18-41 on 28 ends, some staunch Tasmanian supporters thought it was time to head home, the players had other ideas. Schraner trailled 8-19 after 14 against Ellul but would go on to win 21 shots on the next 6 ends and even though he lost a 4 on the last end, Schraner would win 29-23. Richardson picked up a very important 5 on the 10th end and also won 10 shots in the last 7 ends and would only go down 19-27 to Lester. Nitz would also find some form turning an 8-13 deficit into a 23-20 win over 9 ends and that included losing a 6 on the 15th end. At the end of the day, Tasmania had walked away with a 1 shot win and the five test series was alive and well!
Day 2 will see Test 3 & 4 played. Can Tasmania or Victoria seal the series? Or will the Women’s or Men’s test series come down to the 5th and Final test? We have some enthralling days of bowls ahead!
C.Hodgetts 10 lost to S Shanahan 29
L.Triffitt 21 lost to L.Phillips 14
C.Hobbs 16 lost to T.Brodie 25
L.Schraner 17 lost to B.Lester 24
M.Nitz 25 lost to M.Ellul 22
L.Richardson 17 lost to M.Flapper 18
C. Hobbs 9 lost to S. Shannahan 25
L. Triffitt. 13 lost to T. Brodie 29
C. Hodgetts 19 lost to L. Phillips 24
Richardson 19 lost to B. Lester 27
L. Schraner 29 def M. Ellul 23
M. Nitz 23 def M. Flapper 20
By David Genford