Solid start for Mr & Mrs Brown.
Mixed pairs Open qualifying gets tough early. The Australian Open mixed pairs qualifying kicked off at Tweed Heads yesterday with three rounds completed as teams vie for a place in Bowls Australia’s marquee event in Melbourne next year.
Star pairing Natasha Jones and Brett Wilkie got off to a flyer by winning all three games, including an early morning clash with up and coming stars, Taleah Putney and Nic Gosley (18-6). They now face more young guns in Cassandra Millerick and Scott De Jongh in the post sectional. Millerick and De Jongh overcame Jannah Dymnycz and Troy Howard (24-6) and Christine McGuire and Douglas McGuire (19-7) after a bye in round one.
Husband and wife team, Kurt and Emma Brown, secured their passage through with comfortable wins over Brendan and Wendy Wilson (20-8) and Kiani and Joel Anderson (20-7). Although the Browns did come unstuck in their final game with a 15-8 defeat to Debbie Patterson and Shane Greentree, who were fresh from a strong showing at the State Mixed pairs last month.
An opening defeat to Carol Williams and Max Kitto (12-11) stirred Julie Keegan and Des Cann into action. The two victories that followed were enough to seal a berth in the next phase. They beat Michael and Kerrie Dymnycz (19-11) and Dorothy and Barry Cooke (15-12).
Elizabeth McCleary and Jason Curry produced strong bowls to move into post sectional undefeated. A fine 23-5 win over Karen Brain and Colin Pollock was backed up with a tight 16-11 victory over Bryce Litfin and Bolivia Millerick. They wrapped it up with an 18-8 triumph against Logan Litfin and Leigh Crundy.
Toughing it out in section four were Faye Clarke and Barry Dench, who beat Selina Goddard and Sean Ingham 14-12, Christine and Steve Baxter 20-7 and then edged out Laura Ingham and Ben Savva 21-17.
Gail Waitai and John Millington squeaked past Tony and Jane Bush 12-11, but it wasn’t enough to derail the Bush couple. Earlier in the day they beat Peter Ellul and Helen Wood-Bradley 14-10 and Pauline and Ken Laverty 14-9 to steer themselves into a Friday showdown with McKenzie and Litfin.
Sue McKenzie and Cohen Litfin’s pathway wasn’t easy. Donna Jenkins and Dean McWhinney defeated the pair 9-8, as Noelene Dutton and Paul Jopson beat Ellen Joselin and Steven Massey 18-7. But McKenzie and Litfin strung two victories together, 20-12 and 14-10 moving through to Friday’s post sectional and potential qualifying round.
Already booked into the qualifying round are Nathan Appleton and Christina Pavlov. After beating Jackie McWhinney and Graeme Shillington 22-5 then Wendy Norris and Michael Bredhauer 19-8, the pair completed a third comprehensive victory with a 25-6 win over Emma Watts and Michael Geronimos. A bye in the post sectional gives the duo plenty of time to rest after this blitzing display. Christina commented, “Nathan played awesome all day.”
Ann-Maree and Warren Peart were involved in the only draw in round one, a tense 15-15 game versus Fay and Ray Whittaker. The Pearts then had another close game as they edged out Brad and Lynsey Clarke 15-14. But they made it through after hitting their stride against Pamela Botterill and Allan Cullen, seeing them off 25-7.
Amanda Haevecker and Rohan Wilson will be playing on Friday thanks to two sweet victories and a bye, dispatching Debbie and Gary Farley 19-14 and then Lyn and Mike Hartley 15-10. The other game in the section saw the Farleys beat the Hartleys 11-9.
Bowls Queensland’s Development Manager, Brett Murphy said, “It’s a strong field, pretty evenly matched, but Emma and Kurt Brown gave a solid showing today. Natasha Jones and Brett Wilkie are also a pair to look out for.”