Melbourne Pulse crowned Bowls Premier League premiers

by Rob McGuire

Melbourne Pulse took out the coveted Bowls Premier League (BPL) premiership played at Club Pine Rivers in Brisbane tonight, but not before the Tasmania Tridents shook up the final series before bowing out in the first semi-final.

The final five was not settled until early this afternoon after the final two rounds were played.   

The Tridents lost the first game of the day for the first time at BPL#15 to Melbourne Pulse who won convincingly in straight sets 8-4 and 8-1 which dropped the Tridents out of the top five.

The Trident’s second game of the day against the Perth Suns started disastrously when the Suns raced away to a convincing 13-0 win in the first set.   Showing just how much they have improved since BPL#14, the Tridents fought back to win the second set 11 -1 but lost the tiebreaker 0-1and it looked like their BPL campaign was over.

However, other results fell the Tridents way and they finished in fifth spot to earn a place in the finals.

In the cut-through elimination final, the Tridents surprised everyone substituting Rebecca Van Asch and Mark Nitz in and out every end.   The tactic seemed to work against the Moama Steamers who never settled, allowing the Tridents to win the elimination final in straight sets 6-2 and 9-1.

The first semi-final saw the Tridents pitted against home-town favourites the Brisbane Pirates.   The Pirates won the vital first set 6-2 before the Tridents fought back to win the second set 5-3 to force the semi-final to a tiebreaker.   In the end, a great draw shot from former New Zealand international Jo Edwards could not be beaten and the Pirates won through to the preliminary final 1-0.

In the second semi-final, top-side and minor premiers Melbourne Pulse narrowly defeated Melbourne Extreme 2-3, 7-5 and 1-0 in the tiebreaker to advance to the grand final.   Melbourne Extreme then met Brisbane Pirates in the preliminary final with Extreme prevailing in straight sets 6-3 and 6-5.  

Melbourne Pulse won the first set of the grand final 5-3 but lost the second set 3-8 before fighting back to win the tiebreaker 2-0 to win the BPL premiership for the very first time.

The Tasmanian Tridents campaign is over but not without putting Tasmanian bowls firmly on the BPL map – finishing in a very creditable fourth place after finishing last in BPL#14 .   On behalf of everyone at Bowls Tasmania and all bowlers in Tasmanian, a big thank you to the Tasmanian Tridents – Rebecca Van Asch, Taelyn Male and Mark Nitz and coach Mark Strochnetter – you have played extremely well all week and have done Tasmania proud.   Well done to all of you.

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