It’s a family affair in the State Championship finals

by Rob McGuire on March 16, 2023

Bowls Tasmania’s Gala Week of lawn bowls will finish tomorrow at Burnie with grand finals in the prestigious men’s and women’s open pairs and singles state championships being the highlight of the day.   Rob McMullen will contest both the men’s open singles and pairs grand finals, his wife Jess McMullen will play in the women’s open singles grand final and Jess’ mother Deb Lee is playing in the women’s pairs grand final – making the finals a real family affair!

Close games and outstanding bowls were the order of the day at Burnie today when the knock-out singles championships whittled the field down to just the grand finalists.

In the men’s singles championship semi-finals, current Australian and Tasmanian open singles champion Rob McMullen defeated Burnie’s Taelyn Male 25-19 in a high standard game.   Male led early but McMullen levelled scores at seven all after ten ends.   McMullen then broke away to lead 20-12 before Male fought back to get within two shots 19-21.   McMullen steadied to win 25-19.   His opponent in the grand final will be Burnie’s Mark Nitz who was always in control against another Burnie player Sam Larsen winning 25-5.   In the quarterfinals, McMullen defeated Turners Beach’s Josh Tyrrell 25-13, Male beat Latrobe’s Tim Douce 25-11, Nitz accounted for Ulverstone’s Lachie Thurley 25-12 and in the closest quarterfinal Larsen beat Brighton’s Grant Wakefield 25-21.

The women’s open singles final will see two Invermay players fighting it out for the championship.   Jess McMullen won a titanic battle against Australian Pathway player Lauren Banks from the New Norfolk club winning 25-24.   McMullen raced to a 9-0 lead after four ends but Banks won the next six ends to lead 13-9.   It was close after that with McMullen winning four of the last six ends to scrape home 25-24.   Kim Saunders won the other semi-final against Penguin’s Glenda Fielding 25-10.   Saunders led 10-9 after 13 ends but she won all but one end after that to win comfortably by 15 shots.   In the quarterfinals, McMullen defeated Invermay’s Jean Claridge 25-7, Banks overcame Kings Meadows’s Rae Simpson 25-20, Saunders won a thriller against Longford’s Mikayla Baker 25-24 and Fielding beat Latrobe’s Annie Hannon 25-11.

In another close and exciting game, Penguin’s Pat Howard won the women’s B Grade singles championship when she defeated Orford’s Danielle Lovett 25-24.

Grand finals in the open pair’s championships will get the day started tomorrow.   In the men’s open championship, Kings Meadows Rob McMullen and Franklin’s Brad Johns will play the young guns in Port Sorell’s Codi Marshall and Bailey Bellchambers.     The women’s open pairs championship will be fought out between current State open pairs champions Invermay’s Deb Lee and Kim Saunders and East Launceston’s Heather Thompson and Janet McCarthy who won the State B Grade pairs championship last year.

Other state championships being decided tomorrow include the men’s B Grade singles, disability singles and pairs and bowling arm triples and fours.

In the men’s B Grade singles championships, Orford’s Shane Davis will play Brighton’s David Williams in the grand.   In the semi-finals today, Davis comfortably defeated Franklin’s Brad Johns 25-3 and Williams won a tight encounter against Sandy Bay’s Mark Quinane 25-24.

Disability bowlers had a day off today but will be back in action tomorrow.    In the disability singles championships, sectional winners were Swansea’s James Amos, Glenorchy Rodman’s Jacob Sheerin-Wall and Port Sorell’s Jamie Costello who will meet in the finals.   In the disability pairs grand final, Ulverstone’s Alan Ryman and Kings Meadows Greg Smith will play Glenorchy Rodman’s Jacob Sherrin-Wall and Wynyard’s Grant Hills

Bowling arm triples and fours championships will be decided tomorrow.   The fours championship is being decided by a round robin with the final round to be played with little separating the top two teams skipped by George Town’s Michael Shingles and Trevallyn’s Geoff Buchanan.   Sectional play in the bowling arm triples today resulted in wins to Trevallyn’s Geoff Buchanan, Joe Reissig and Ray Dureau and George Town’s Michael Shingles, and Doreen White and Wynyard’s Heather Jones who will meet in the grand final tomorrow.

Finals commence at 9.30am with the men’s and women’s open singles championships starting at 12.30pm.   Food and drink will be available all day at Burnie.

For all the results click HERE