Open State-Wide Challenge Results
The third and final round of the Open State-wide Challenge was held at Rosny Park Bowls Club on Sunday. The Men’s competition was wrapped up with the North West having an unassailable lead but the Women’s competition saw the North & South only separated by 1 point. The Overall ladder which includes the Juniors & Seniors competitions saw the South trailing the two Northern sides but with their 2nd side playing, could they reduce the gap?
The North West took on the South in the first round, whilst the North took on South B. The South A team got off to a strong start with an 8 shot victory over the North West. The rinks were split with Gaylene Elsworthy defeating Rosie Geeves by 5 shots and Lyn Triffitt & Roseanne Howard-Smith fighting out a 17 all draw. The difference was Jenny Tirant’s win over Dee Harman 25-12. Tirant had Di Jones, Amity Booth & Lauren Banks play very well for her in this win. If the South B side could get the win over the North the South could almost be crowned champions. The North were not going to let that happen! Whilst Gaylene Ridgeway would get a rink win for the South B team, winning 18-14 against Maxine Monson, both Candice Hodgetts & Bree Godfrey would get wins and the overall result. Hodgetts defeated Jan McPherson 17-15 & Godfrey was victorious over Jeanette Lane 23-12. With only the afternoon games to go, the North & South were both locked on 55 points. The North needed to defeat the South A side and if South B got a win, then they would need to win by more than them.
The Southern B side would indeed get a win, on 2 rinks over the North West by only 4 shots. In an interesting turn of events, all three matches finished 19-15 with Lane & Ridgeway defeating Howard-Smith & Elsworthy respectively. Harman reversed her earlier loss with the lone win against McPherson. This now meant the North needed to win on all 3 rinks or risk a countback if they only won on two rinks. It would be the South that would use their home ground advantage and significantly defeat the Northern side on all 3 rinks. The closest match was between Triffitt & Godfrey with a 17-16 score line, whilst Tirant defeated Monosn 17-13. The big winner was the rink of Gail Price, Denise Tanner, Jorja Maughan & Rosie Geeves who inflicted a 30-6 defeat on Hodgetts. And with that, the Southern women were crowned champions. The final standings being South 77, North 55 & North West 12.
The morning’s games followed the same pattern as the women’s with the North West taking on the South A side & the North vs the B side. The results also mirrored the Women’s results with the North & the South taking the victories. The North were led by strong performances by Robert McMullen & David Minns who won 28-12 against Michael Sweeney and Josh Baker 22-20 respectively. The only bright spot from the Southern B side was Mick Taylor who won 18-10 against Adam Gurr. The South & North West had a very close game with no rink being decided by more than 3 shots. The South did pick up two 3 shot victories with State Skips Lee Schraner defeating Luke Richardson 17-14 and Luke Turner winning 18-15 against Tim Douce. Mark Nitz did ensure the North West would pick up 2 points with a 17-16 defeat of Peter Banister. The North West still had 64 points whilst the South was on 29 & the North on 27.
The mirroring of results from the Women’s games continued in the afternoon with both Southern team victorious over the Northern counterparts. The South B side were keen to do well and ensured they would not lose a rink to the Champions. Mick Sweeney over turned his morning loss with a 22-12 win over Tim Douce and Paul Cruise who was moved to skip for the afternoon, won 19-15 against Luke Richardson. The remaining rink would end all square on 14 between Mick Taylor & Mark Nitz, the end result a 14 shot win to the South B team. The other match of the South & North saw a closer result with a 50-40 win for the South. Rob McMullen would complete his good day with a 15-10 win over Bannister but Turner, who had great support from Paul Williamson, Connor Munnings & Keghan Booth defeated Minns 22-8. The last match saw Schraner win by 1 shot, 18-17 against Gurr.
The North West, despite not winning in the final round, had done so well in the first two rounds that they were still the clear champions. The North West would finish on 65 points, the South on 50 and the North on 29.
A successful home round for the South has seen them take the lead after trailing by 34 points before start of the day. With only one round of the Senior State-Wide Challenge to go the standings look like this;
178.5 (North West)
By David Genford