Family affair to the fore at State Triples Championships

by Rob McGuire on January 10, 2024

It was a family affair for Invermay’s husband and wife Chris and Debbie Lee and daughter Jess McMullen as they took top honours to end Bowls Tasmania’s Gala Week on a high, being part of teams that won the prestigious Men’s and Women’s Open Triples Championship at Club Beltana today.

Chris Lee teamed up with Rosny Park’s Darren Monks and Dover RSL’s Chris Norris to defeat the highly fancied team of Ulverstone’s Taelyn Male and Bailey Bellchambers and Port Sorell’s Codi Marshall by seven shots in the grand final of the Men’s Open Triples.    After an even first half, Monks finished strongly winning seven of the last nine ends to take out the championship win.   Chris Norris was the standout player of the finals and was the difference between the two teams.   For Male, Bellchambers and Marshall it was their second heart-breaking runner-up finish in a row in the Men’s Open Triples.   In the semi-finals, Monks defeated David Minns, Tony Vince and Grant Allford by five shots and Male accounted for Gavin Cleary, Tomy Verrier and Keith Hinkley by twelve shots.

In the Women’s Open Triples Championships, Invermay’s Rebecca Van Asch, Debbie Lee and Jess McMullen had to fight hard to defeat Port Sorell’s Rae Simpson and Invermay’s Kim Saunders and Jean Claridge by four shots.   In a topsy-turvey game, Van Ash led by six shots after six ends before Simpson won three ends in a row to trail by just three shots.   Van Ash then won five ends in a row to stretch out to a match winning eleven shot lead.   Simpson narrowed the lead to three shots after seventeen ends but that was as close as she could get with Van Asch hanging on to take out the championship.   In the semi-finals, Van Asch defeated Sandy Bay’s Peri Buckley, Yvonne Buckley and Helen Barnes by five shots and Simpson beat Makayla Gibson, Amity Bickley and Chloe Collins in a tight encounter by one shot.

The day started off with the grand final of the Bowling Arm Singles Championship which was taken out by Trevallyn’s Geoff Buchanan who defeated South Burnie’s John Burley by five shots in a very high standard game.