Tas vs ACT, Day 1 Results
The Best of 5 test series against the ACT started today at the North Launceston Bowls Club. Test 1 & 2 were both played today, tomorrow will see Tests 3 & 4 whilst Tuesday will be the 5th and final test. Let’s look at the first test.
We will start with the women who saw the return of Rebecca Van Asch. Van Asch missed the recent test series against Victoria with the birth of her daughter and was forced to miss some of the games at the Sides Championships due to morning sickness, so it was good to see Australia’s number one ranked player back on the green. Van Asch would take on Sharon Harmer, Candice Hodgetts was against Margaret Bacchetto & Courtney Hobbs was against Ruth Moore. The ACT would get off to the better start, not trailing on any rink after 5 ends each. But it was the next 5 ends that would see momentum turned towards the Tasmanian team. Hobbs picked up a 6 on the 7th end to take the lead as well as consecutive 2’s on the 9th & 10th end to lead 12-7. Hodgetts picked up multiple counts on 3 of the 5 ends and now led 12-9 whilst Van Asch only won 2 of the 5 ends, she only allowed her opposition to pick up singles and she was tied at 7-7. The ACT wasn’t going to let Tassie have it all their own way, Moore picking up 9 shots in 3 ends and Harmer picked up a 5 on her 14th end, giving the ACT the lead in 2 rinks. But Hodgetts and her rink were playing very well. From the 7th to 16th end, they won 8 of the 10 ends and led by 11. In the remaining ends, it would be Hodgetts’ rink that continued to dominate. After dropping a 3 on the 17th end, they would finish the game picking up 3, 1, 5 & 1, to run away a 31-13 winner and giving the Tasmanian team the best chance of taking the victory. Hobbs fought back well after dropping those 9 shots, including picking up a 4 on her own and led by 3 with two ends to play, only to drop a 1 and a 2 to end with a draw. Van Asch would end up losing her game but ensured that her loss didn’t affect the overall result by not allowing any more multiple scores after dropping the 5. She lost the last 6 ends but with them all being singles, her 10-20 loss was more about the overall score than her rink result.
In the Men’s test, Lee Schraner played against Robert Craven, Luke Richardson took on Sean Robertson & Mark Nitz matched up against Mark Ebsworth. It was also great to see the return of an Ex-Tasmanian who was recalled to the ACT side after an extended absence, with Andrew Ashlin playing 3 for Ebsworth. Not the ideal start for our Men being 0-7 after 3 ends with Schraner dropping a 5 and similarly to the women, no Tasmanian rink would lead after 5 ends. And just like the women, the Men would wrestle the advantage away from the ACT team. Nitz would win 7 consecutive ends to lead 12-3 after 10 ends. Richardson went on a mini run of his own taking 7 shots in 3 ends and he too would be in the lead after 10 ends, leading 9-7. Schraner was still recovering from that loss of 5 shots and at 7-12 it would only be that first end that saw him trail after 10 ends. The 11th end proved crucial for Tasmania with both Schraner & Richardson picking up 4 shots each, which softened the blow of Nitz dropping a 5. This didn’t allow the ACT to jump on Ebsworth’s 5 as the lead for Tassie was extended. Schraner stormed home against Craven, playing with an ankle fracture, Schraner would win the 16th to 20th end and would end up winning 24-17, an impressive turn around indeed. Richardson had a decent hiccup on the 15th end dropping a 6, followed by another 6 shots over 3 ends but picked up a 4 himself on the 19th end to keep his score close, eventually losing 20-23. Nitz was the steadier for Tasmania, not allowing the dropped 5 to affect him, in fact Nitz would only lose 7 ends for the game and would be a convincing 23-12 winner.
In the afternoon, the temperature ensured this would be a test of the player’s fitness and the ACT were keen to end the day at 1-1. The second test for the Women saw the following matchups, Van Asch vs Bacchetto, Hobbs vs Harmer & Hodgetts vs Moore. Over the first half of this test, neither team could gain an advantage over the other. A few threes picked up by both sides but the scores remained very close across the board. The ACT started to make their move just after the half way mark. Bacchetto picked up a 4 on the 12th end and a 5 on the 15th end against Van Asch to take the lead in their battle. Moore picked up 10 shots in 4 ends against Hodgetts and would lead 17-7 whilst the only Tasmanian rink in front was Hobbs who would win 6 consecutive ends to lead 16-10 after 17 ends. Van Asch couldn’t put any pressure on Bacchetto, only picking up a 4 on the 19th end, the only end of the last 8 ends she would win, falling 16-20. Hodgetts did start to make some ground on Moore winning 4 ends in a row but only picked up 5 shots in that time. A dropped 4 on the last end extended the margin to 9 shots, the end score being 13-22. Hobbs would ensure it wasn’t a whitewash, taking 3 on the last end to win 19-15. That left the series locked at 1-1.
The 2nd test for the Men saw the following match ups; Schraner vs Robertson, Nitz vs Craven & Richardson vs Ebsworth. The Men avoided another slow start in the second test, picking up 6 of the first 9 ends and leading 9-3. Schraner would not give his opponent many chances, picking up 7 of the first 8 ends and led 14-2. Nitz was looking strong leading 7-3 but dropped 5 shots on both the 7th & 10th ends to trail 9-15. Richardson also dropped a 5, his on the 10th end to give up the lead, trailing 7-12. The ACT had gotten back into the game with the 3 lots of 5 shots and our Men needed to ensure this didn’t happen again. But with Schraner dropping 8 shots in 3 ends, the ACT were in front and looking strong. Richardson’s rink really started to turn up the heat on ACT, only allowing them 3 more ends after dropping that 5. This allowed them to their rink by 4 shots, after trailling by 2 with 3 ends to play. Nitz couldn’t quite get back to level terms but after picking up 10 shots in 6 ends had the margin back to 1 with 1 end to play, but couldn’t get the shot and ACT would win by 2, 23-21. After a momentary lapse for Schraner’s rink, they came home strong and proved to eb the difference between the two teams. A 4 on the 15th end and a bonus 5 on the last end blew out the score to 26-14, giving the Tasmanian team a 14 shot win and 2-0 advantage in the tests.
Good luck to both Tasmanian teams for tomorrow!
1st Test Women
Tasmania def ACT 62-54
Hodgetts def Bacchetto 31-13, Hobbs drew with Moore 21-21, Van Asch lost to Harmer 10-20
1st Test Men
Tasmania def ACT 67-52
Schraner def Craven 24-17, Nitz def Ebsworth 23-12, Richardson lost to Robertson 20-23
2nd Test Women
ACT def Tasmania 57-48
Moore def Hodgetts 22-13, Bacchetto def Van Asch 20-16, Harmer lost to Hobbs 15-19
2nd Test Men
Tasmania def ACT 67-53
Schraner def Robertson 26-14, Richardson def Ebsworth 20-16, Nitz lost to Craven 21-23
By David Genford