State Championships Pairs Preview
The second day of the Gala Week will see the Open Pairs in both Men’s & Women’s events. Some players will be keen to back up from their sectional win in the fours, whilst others will be trying to put behind them some bad results or unlucky wicks. As I did yesterday, I will go through each section trying to predict who will advance to the post sectional play. Once again my selections will be joined by some wise words from our Victorian correspondent Michael Sims.
*Should you think you will win your selection if picked by one of our tipsters? Genford 5 Victorian 5 from 10 sections, so only 50% each!*
The Women will once again have no lucky losers as we will have 8 sections, a perfect amount for the Quarter Finals. All sections will be held at Rosny Park Bowls Club.
I think Section 1 is down to two teams. Jess McMullen teams up with old club mate Janet Rutherford whilst the Dover RSL combination of Meg Wilson & Carol Bannister will be hard to beat. I think I’ll just give the nod to the Dover RSL combination.
The Victorian says – Bannister always finds herself through to the knockout stages in at least one event, and I’m backing her in the pairs this year.
What a cracking section. Only three in it but any of the three could advance. Rosie Geeves teams up with Mikayla Baker, Vicki Winley will lead for Kim Saunders whilst the ever consistent Buckley sisters round out the section. Hard to pick a winner here but I’ll jump off the fence and take Saunders.
The Victorian says – Kim Saunders must have done some bribing as she gets another bye in her section, however it isn’t going to help her when Rosie Geeves is paired up with Mikayla Baker. These two should be at the pointy end of the competition.
Lyn Triffitt is the defending champion but with Amelia Bruggy moving back to Victoria, she add Jenny Tirant as her lead. Her main opposition will be the two teams skipped by Rae Simpson & Jenny Grandfield. When I saw the skips I was going to pick Simpson in an upset but now that I’ve seen Tirant is leading for Triffitt, I think that combination will be too strong.
The Victorian says – You’d hate to be a punter when it comes to this section. Luckily for me I don’t lose anything but bragging rights if I’m wrong! So I’ll go with Simpson and Zadow – these two go together better than a roast on Sunday.
A section of three here made up of two Sandy Bay teams. I think Laura Best & Robyn Leggett will be the pick of the Sandy Bay teams but will need to get through Gail Thow & Shiron Beavis from the North West Coast. I’ll take Leggett for the section but only just.
The Victorian says – If I had a 3 sided coin I would flip it, but I don’t so I’ll go with the coastal pairing of Beavis and Thow – anyone that comes from that far away would want to make sure it’s worth the trip!
Glenda Fielding entered without a playing partner and managed to find Candice Hodgetts thanks to a favourable work roster. Going from no partner to section favourites in one fowl swoop! The other three teams seem pretty even but I think Amity Booth could provide Hodgetts a scare. The other two teams skipped by Rose-Anne Howard-Smith & Barbara Smith could also provide an upset or two. I’ll go with Hodgetts.
The Victorian says – Barb Smith is more consistent than the Reserve Bank’s cash rate and is never to be underestimated. I’ll be taking her to progress to the knockout rounds.
Leona Smith has entered herself as lead and skip, singles with 8 bowls, might be the way of the future, but it will be interesting to see who her partner is. I think Annie Lewis & Maureen Zoon will be too strong in this section. Maxine Monson is probably the main danger but after Michael Sims questioned Lewis’ ability to recover from NYE in yesterday’s report, I think she’ll be keen to keep our Victorian writer back in his corner with a section win here.
The Victorian says – Zoon and Lewis appear to be too strong as the Monsoon isn’t due to arrive until Saturday according to the Bureau.
A section of three in this one and the favourites would have to be Alison Venn & Dee Harman. Both players have been there abouts or even won titles over the last few years, so could easily not only win this section but make the final or better. Denise Tanner has knocked over a few favourites in sections play and would be the one to do so If Venn & Harman falter.
The Victorian says – My diagram tells me Venn and her partner Harmen will cruise through to the knockout stages.
The section of death, with all four teams going in thinking they could take the section. Ann Hinkley and Lynn Barlow from Sandy Bay are consistent players, Bronny King has been making great improvements and teams up with Jean Claridge, whilst Phillipa & Sonia Martyn are always close in events like this. But I’m going to take the young ones in this section. Lauren Banks & Jorja Maughan play without fear and are proving they can handle playing in the open ranks with aplomb.
The Victorian says – A wise man once said “new is always better”, so I’ll back in the youthful combo of Maughan and Banks. You have to move with the times or be left in the Stone Age. Sorry ladies!
Now to the 12 Men’s section where 4 teams will advance as the next best. Played over two venues, it will be harder for teams to keep an eye on other sections, but let’s see who we think can win their section.
Sections 1-6 will be played at Kingborough
I think Scott Summers & Tim Douce would have to be the heavy favourites. Both skipped their fours teams to the quarter finals yesterday and Douce will be licking his lips at the quick greens the South have produced. Their biggest threat would have to come from Clinton Seabourne & Roger Dale but I think they will go through undefeated.
The Victorian Says – Tim Douce, is there any other option?
Keith Hinkley let me down today succumbing to the pressure of my kiss of death, so I’ll look elsewhere this time. Ormerod continued his pennant form in the Fours yesterday and is teaming up with Chris Norris in the Pairs. But I think the youthful combination of Josh Walker-Davis & Lachie Sims will go in as favourites and should take the section.
The Victorian Says – When the better Sims teams up with one of the most in-form players in the state in Josh Walker-Davis you just can’t look anywhere else.
On paper Mabb & Genford should probably be favourites but they struggled last year at Trevallyn and will need to improve vastly on that performance. Darren Beattie will skip Kevin Raby but I think the winners will be the Tony Rowe & Grant Wakefield combination. Rowe has stepped off the golf course and Wakefield is always keen to impress players and selectors at this level and they should be too strong.
The Victorian Says – As was the case yesterday, I have to pick Genford or else my comments won’t be published… (editor – just like I had to yesterday, I had to edit wont to won’t again today) only this time I actually think he might win.
This section seems to be a family affair with Andrew & Grant Chamberlain playing together, Anthony & Cody Clifford playing together and also being joined by Steve Clifford who is playing with Cameron Tegg. It’s that last combination I would be most worried about. Tegg is a proven performer at this level and will be keen to add another medal to his collection.
The Victorian Says – Tegg is so good he could play left handed and still win… I’ll take him to put Steve Clifford on his shoulders and take him through to the knockout rounds.
I think this section comes down to Paul Williamson/Connor Munnings & Gene Ayton/Tristan Bakes. Both combinations have players that can play well in all four positions in cross over pairs but I’ll just give my tip to Munnings, probably my Rosny bias showing once more!
The Victorian Says – Bakes and Ayton tend to fly under the radar so I’ll take them. Just leave the backhand open.
I think this section will be between Josh Appleyard/Lee Schraner & Steve Graf/Peter Bannister. I think they will be due to play each other in the third game and this would be a ripper if they are both 2 game winners. Bannister will be keen to get one over Schraner but I can’t go past the number one ranked player in the country.
The Victorian Says – Schraner/Appleyard v Bannister/Graf for the section. Schraner hates it when people don’t pick him so I’ll take Bannister and Graf to triumph.
The remaining sections will be played at Claremont
A very interesting section here. Sam Springer has made his way down South and will be teaming up with Damien Lewis, you read that right, Will Springer has been given the flick. Apparently this was the only way Sam Springer could get a skips job in Pairs. But they won’t have things their own way. I think it will come down to Westlake/Male or L Turner/J Baker. I got to see Westlake for the first time today and lead well but I think Luke Turner is possibly the most under rated player in the State and his bowls from the three position, could provide the advantage Josh Baker will need. I’ll take Baker.
The Victorian Says – Tough section this but I like the Baker/Turner combination. Slower southern greens should suit far greater than the others north of Campbelltown. (Editor – The greens were very quick today!)
Robert McMullen has to go in as favourite in this section but has only gotten out of a Pairs section once before, last year. Is he now on a roll? I must admith I’m not sure of the Feltham/Pyke combination from Burnie but the Tigers don’t often produce players that can’t play. Can L Munnings/Hoffman turn back the clock? 9 years ago Hoffman had a field day when the State Champs were based at Rosny Park and has already qualified in the Fours. Nah, I have to stick with McMullen as my tip.
The Victorian Says – McMullen will be keen to win as many games as possible so he doesn’t have to look after the kids. I’ll take him and Johns to progress.
I would love to see the Briggs/Wigg combination have a big day but I think the Matthew Jackson/Daniel Baker combination will be too strong for their opposition. Jackson lead in the Fours so I assume that’s the order they will go with tomorrow but rumour has it, Rock/Paper/Scissors may have decided the Fours order.
The Victorian Says – Jackson will need to be on his best game to support Baker in his honeymoon period. I’ll back them in regardless.
I haven’t looked at the Victorian’s picks as I write this but I think he’ll go with Richardson here. I’m going to go out on a limb. I think the McKibben/Eiszele combo will take the section. I have seen both play very well on these quick greens and I think the type of game that Sweeney (with Richardson) and Tony Vince (with Steve Midson) play is suited to something a little bit slower then what was on offer today. It could be an obvious section I misjudge but I’m picking Eiszele.
The Victorian Says – As long as Sweeney stays well hydrated, he and Richardson are my pick, however this section is wide open!
This is probably the section that is the most wide open. No-one stands out as the clear winner but I think I’m going to go with John Sutcliffe. His partner his TBC but he always seems to get through a section when he wasn’t meant to. Warren Groves & Peter Thow will hope to re-find their Southern form, three years ago they made the Semi Finals and Michael Taylor will hope the green at Claremont is a little slower than Rosny Park. I’m going with Sutcliffe and his mystery partner.
The Victorian Says – Sutcliffe comes in as a late entry and they’re always the ones you need to look out for! I’ll take him to advance. (Editor – Great minds think alike)
David Minns abandons his three youngsters from the fours but picks another in Isaac Maughan, who he has played with before. Maughan has been skipping this year and will use these skills when playing from the three position. Brad Carver & Jarrah Allan are Minns’ main threat and I will pick them to upset the more fancied David Minns.
The Victorian Says – Couple of good names/teams here but the Minns/Maughan combination has proved to be harder to crack than the Davinci code in recent outings. Dark horse for the title.
That’s it from both me and the Victorian, hopefully we can improve on our 50% strike rate so far! Good luck to all players!
By David Genford