Tasmanian State Mixed Pairs preview
WOW. 15 sections of 4 teams, this is unheard of in a State Pairs competition, but that is what awaits the 60 teams that have entered the Mixed Pairs. There are some great combinations and the beauty is that some are related and some aren’t, what a great atmosphere for the competition to take place in! Sections 1 to 6 will be playing at North Launceston, 7-12 at Kings Meadows & 13-15 at Invermay. 3 games in one day plus the post sectional game.
The post sectional draw has also been posted on the website. Due to logistical reasons, the lucky loser scenario couldn’t be considered for this event, so the draw was completed by a neutral person not involved in the event. Section 14 was the section to receive a Bye into the Quarter Finals.
So, let’s have a look at each section, I’ll try my best to pick each winner but my record is only about 50%, so If I don’t pick you, don’t be too concerned, just go out and win! Only one other person has put forward their selections, with Andrew Appleyard putting his reputation on the line, I’ve included his picks too.
The two Sandy Bay pairings of Cashion/Barlow & Hinkley/Hinkley will fancy themselves to win the section and having taken on Keith Hinkley this year, I can confirm that he is in good form but could Gail Thow/Eden Moore prove to be the upset of the section? For me the Hinkley husband wife combination should win the section but this is wide open. Andrew Appleyard has selected the Thow/Moore rink combination.
Greg Douce skips Shiron Beavis & Mikayla Baker will play with Matthew Jackson, why has Mikayla chosen to to play with her brothers and why is the greatest lead of all time skipping Mikayla? Can we count out the Rutherfords at this stage? I say Yes. I’m going with the Baker/Jackson combination but Appleyard has gone for Douce.
For me the twp pairs battling this out is the first game of the section which sees Peri Buckley & Steve Graf take on the newly married Candice & Gene Ayton. Despite the Ayton’s being good mates of mine, I think the Buckley/Graf combination will be too strong. Appleyard agrees with me, which is a rarity, Graf to win the section.
What a great section! The Maughan combination of Jorja & Isaac are probably favourites but the other three pairings will give themselves a chance to win. Luke Turner is often underrated but not by me and he plays with Crystal Brooks, the Dover RSL pairing of Barb Liddington & Chris Norris have a great chance whilst Nigel Milbourne is a great bowler in his own right. I’m going to go with Luke Turner, for me he is a future Tasmanian skip and he will just get over the Maughans. Appleyard has interestingly gone for Milbourne.
My section, so please be aware of any bias! Interestingly this section also includes our other tipster, Andrew Appleyard. Now I’m playing with a State skip in Lyn Triffitt, whilst we need to include the Claridge’s and Will Springer who plays with Chloe Flanagan. For my tipping, I’m confident that my pairing can win the section, but it won’t be easy by any means. I think playing cross over will allow Triffitt to come into her own, but Appleyard has picked himself to win the section, only one can be correct, or none!
A wide open section but I think this will be decided by the strength of the female players. Amiyh Booth is the best of the female players playing so I’d hedge my bets that way. Lyn Page & Peter Jenkins are consistent bowers who will be close & the youngsters of Logyn Curtis & Lucas Howell will have youth on their side but I’ll stick with Booth in this one. Appleyard agrees with me.
I really love this section. Lauren Banks & Josh Appleyard would have to be the favourites but when you have Taelyn Male skipping or Sophie Fletcher & Peter Barrett together, you never know what might happen. Ben Stearnes is the remaining skip and he led very well against Rosny Park when playing us, but stepping up to the skip position is another proposition indeed. My pick is Male but only just over Appleyard, unsurprisingly Andrew Appleyard has picked his son to win the section, only time will tell who is right.
One of the most interesting sections. John Sutcliffe always seems to be overlooked b ut always plays well in State Championships and with Rosie Geeves, their pairing can’t be ignored. Venn/Feltham & Monson/McDougall will both be hard to beat with both pairs strong. I’d normally use my Southern bias and pick Sutcliffe but I’ll go with the Monson/McDougall combination to win the section, Appleyard goes with Sutcliffe making me contemplate my selection!
For me, this is one of the toughest sections. Madeline Franklin & Tristan Bakes will fancy their chances, as will Rose’anne Howard & Cameron Griffiths. Could one of the few teams that have named a female as skip, Alan Gamble & Rae Simpson go on and take the section? I’ll go with Griffiths to take the section, which Appleyard agrees with, is it too late to change my mind?
Section 10 looks very wide open, with no-one standing out too much. Rob Pyke from Burnie can play some pretty steady bowls whilst Adam Gurr playing with wife Samantha should probably go in as favourites. But sectional play is never easy to get out of, but I’ll just go with the Gurr’s, once again agreed upon by Apples.
This would have to be the toughest section of them all. Kim Saunders & Mark Strochnetter, Courtney Hobbs & David Minns plus Bronny King & Chris Dudman, a plethora of previous and current state players. I feel sorry for Rodney Zoon & Teresa Turmine who will have to play against all three! There is a question mark over whether Hobbs is playing, so I’ll pass on picking them, I’ll take King/Dudman whilst Apples takes Saunders/Strochnetter.
Three combinations playing with family members but could it be the younger duo of Makayla Gibson & Julian Brown that have the best chance of winning? The Invermay duo of Debra & Chris Lee have been getting some great results in pennant and Carol Bannister is one who has always bowled well at this level. I’ll go with the Lee’s to take the section, as I’m staying at their house and I don’t want to be kicked to the curb. Apples has picked Gibson/Brown.
Some more married couples take on each other in this section with the Zoons and Sutties battling it out. Josh Walker-Davis is skipping and will need to ensure he takes his opportunities if he wants to win the section. I would pick the Sutties but I think they have the wrong person skipping, so I’ll taken the Zoons to win the section. Apples has gone with Walker-Davis.
The strongest pair in the comp land in Section 14 with Michael Sims & Rebecca Van Asch teaming up together. Either player could skip this one, their main competition will probably come from the brother sister combination of Phillip & Kelly Mundy. Could the Bowls Tas President beat the EO, sorry Graham but I don’t think so. I’m going with Van Asch and it won’t surprise you, that so did Apples.
The last section will see the McMullen duo of Jess & Rob look the best side on paper but you can’t discount Erin Moore & Corey Mundy. I’d also be weary of a team organised over Facebook, Denise Middap & Ray Boutcher, in the South we had a few years in a row where Facebook organised teams took out the title. I’ll stick with the McMullens as does Apples, I think Jess will carry Rob over the line.
Good luck to all the players!