Bugg and Purton win maiden State Championship

by Rob McGuire on January 7, 2024

The first grand finals of Bowls Tasmania’s Gala Week of State Championships were decided in the Bowling Arm Pairs and B Grade Mixed Pairs which were held at Club Beltana in Hobart today.

Trevallyn’s Geoff Buchanan and Joe Reissig were red-hot favourites in the Bowling Arm Pairs having won the past four Bowling Arm State Pairs Championships, but Wynyard’s Paul Bugg and Railton’s Noel Purton raced out to a nine-shot lead after three ends and were never troubled and won easily by fifteen shots.   In two close semi-finals, Bugg and Purton defeated Chris Sturzaker and John Burley on the final end by one shot and Buchanan and Reissig beat Noel Buckingham and Vaughan Eaves by two shots.

The inaugural B Grade Mixed Open Pairs was won in convincing fashion by Taroona’s Michael Behrend and Tracy Cameron who defeated another Taroona combination of Rob Winterbottom and Di Coleman  in the grand final.   Winterbottom and Coleman led my seven shots after eight ends, but Behrend and Cameron won the last six ends to win by eight shots.

The Open Mixed Pairs Championship was reduced to just four pairs after the round of sixteen and quarterfinals were played at Club Beltana.    In the round-of-sixteen,Tony Vince and Kim Saunders defeated Scott Summers and Makayla Gibson by six shots,  Dean Shaw and Wendy Gray picked up two shots on the final end to win by three shots against Rose-Ann Howard and Greg Fielding, Darren and Glenda Fielding won a tight battle against Lachie Thurley and Bronnie King by two shots, Bailey Bellchambers and Chloe Flanagan picked up four shots on the last two ends to beat Rob and Jess McMullen by one shot, Chris and Jenny Martyn raced out to a ten shot lead against Steve Graf and Peri Buckley before a spirited comeback from Graf and Buckley reduced the winning margin to four shots, Tim Norris and Janine Stubbs were too strong for Mike Gaffney and Vicki Fagan winning by eleven shots, Grant Wakefield and Tayla Munro finished strongly to defeat Crystal Brooks and Cameron Norris by eight shots with Cody Marshall and Amity Bickley having a bye.

In the quarter finals Tony Vince and Kim Saunders jumped out to an eleven shot lead after five ends and held that lead to defeat Dean Shaw and Wendy Gray by eleven shots, Bailey Bellchambers and Chloe Flanagan finished ten shots in front of Darren and Glenda Fielding,  Tim Norris and Janine Stubbs held  Chris and Jenny Martyn to just three single shots to convincingly win by twelve shots and Cody Marshall and Amity Bickley were too good for Grant Wakefield and Tayla Munro winning by eleven shots.

Gala Week continues on Monday  with semi-finals and the grand final in the Open Mixed Pairs and sectional play in the Bowling Arm Singles at Club Beltana.   In the event of inclement weather, play will be transferred to the Howrah Indoor Bowls Centre.

Bowls Tasmania will be live streaming the Mixed Open Championship grand final on its Facebook page on Monday afternoon commencing at 1pm.