Champion of Champion Results
The Burnie Bowls Club hosted this year’s State Finals for the Champion of Champions Singles in both the Men’s & Women’s events. The participants were; North West Alison Venn & Patrick Smith, North Courtney Hobbs & Chris Lee and the South Lyn Triffitt & Taelyn Male. Let’s see how the events played out.
The first round saw the North & North West face off against each other. Hobbs started well winning the first 3 ends and taking a 4-0 lead before Venn would return the favour with the next three ends, picking up a crucial 4 on the 6th end to lead 7-4. Hobbs would level the scores within one end and over the next few ends the scores would stay close Hobbs leading 9-8 after 10 ends. It was then that Hobbs really started to hit her straps. Venn would only score one more shot with Hobbs picking up consecutive multiple scores on two more occasions, including the last two ends where she went from 16-9 to the match with scores of 3 & 4. In the Men’s event, Smith was keen to use his home ground advantage but Lee kept the score close early with Smith leading 3-2. Smith was then dominant. He picked up 8 of the next 9 ends to lead 17-3 and the game was virtually over. A 2 to Lee would only delay the defeat by one end with Smith picking up a maximum count and the game was over 21-5.
The second round saw the South play the losers of the first matches, Triffitt vs Venn & Male vs Lee. Venn & Lee both needed a big win in this round to have any chance of taking the title. Venn & Triffitt’s match started with players getting the result on their length of end. Triffitt won 3 consecutive end before Venn returned the favour only to see Triffitt return the dose. Triffitt had a 11-6 margin and Venn’s was now playing for pride. Triffitt would only lose one more end winning the last 5 ends to take a 21-7 victory, the match against Hobbs would decide the title with shots up not required. Lee & Male started off with some high scores, 3 to Lee, 3 & 3 to Male & 2 to Lee saw the score at 6-5 after only 4 ends. The next 4 ends returned to singles shots, shared evenly between the two but Lee could not afford to let Male score again. Male would pick up 2 on the next end to put an end to Lee’s title aspirations and he too would now be playing for pride. But unlike Venn, Lee did start to put on some scoreboard pressure. A 4, 3 & 2 over 4 ends put Lee in front 16-13 but Male found another gear, not allowing Lee to score again picking up 5 ends and taking the game 21-16. The Men’s event would also come down to the 3rd match, the title would go to the victor.
So the third round became a Grand Final, Hobbs vs Triffitt & Smith vs Male. Let’s focus on the Women’s match first. Trifitt started the final the better of the two players, winning 5 of the first 7 ends and taking a 9-2 scoreboard lead. Hobbs started to find her way with scores of 2 and 3 over a three end period but Triffitt also picked up a 2 to keep the margin at 4. Hobbs could only reduce this margin to 3 over the next few ends with the score at 13-10 in Triffit’s favour. The next two ends both went to Triffitt and were a psychological edge with scores of 3 & 2 only putting her 3 shots away from the title. Hobbs picked up a 3 on the next end to keep the hope alive, the score 13-18 before Triffitt would win a single. Hobbs put consecutive ends together, reducing the score to 16-19 and hoping that momentum would be hers. But Triffitt had other ideas picking up consecutive singles and the game was over. Triffitt would make it back to back titles for New Norfolk and continues a rich run of form for Triffitt who has had great success in singles over the last few years.
Male got off to the better start against Smith, leading 4-1 after 4 ends. It would then be Smith who would take the upper hand winning 6 consecutive ends to lead 9-4. The match started to settle over the next 4 ends with both players picking up a couple of ends but not being able to keep hold of the mat for too long. Male would however win the next 3 ends reducing the margin back to 1 and it was game on. Male had called Burnie home when he played on the North West Coast, so both players knew their surroundings but it was Smith that had the crowd support. A 2 & 3 to Smith increased his lead to 17-11 before Male would reply with a single. But the 5 shot margin would be as close as Male would get with Smith winning the next three ends and reaching 21 to claim the title. Smith should be very pleased with his efforts, he has been a valuable member of the state side and now adds this state title to his resume. I’m sure there are more state title awaiting him if he continues the form that he is in.
Both players will now go on to represent Tasmania at the National Champion of Champions, no pressure on Smith but we have won it the last two years in a row!
Thanks again to David Gewin for getting the score cards to me & thanks to Graham Hay for the photos of the winners both today and yesterday.
By David Genford