Early Christmas gift for U-25s
QLD vs Auckland U25 & U18 Test Series, NZ Queensland brought home one trophy and sacrificed the other in a tightly-contested test series against Auckland in New Zealand from December 18-20.
The maroons sent their top dozen U-25 and U-18 players from around the state, with the talented U-25 side coming home victorious thanks to a weight of wins on the women’s scorecards, but unfortunately for the hardworking U-18 team, the silverware was left across the ditch.
In U-25 men’s singles, Braidan Leese (21-20) and Liam Blundell (21-8) ended up on the right side of grueling singles encounters, the only two winners out of six tests, with Scott DeJongh on the narrowest of losses (20-21).
In U-25 men’s pairs, Queensland won three out of six tests, Rohan Wilson anchoring Braidan Leese to a 17-11 win, Ashley Schmidt anchoring Wilson to a 20-15 win and Liam Blundell taking Tim Colburn to a 21-11 victory.
The U-25 men were least effective in the triples, winning only one of six tests, Colburn taking Schmidt and Wilson to a 16-12 victory in the sixth and final test.
Luckily the U-25 women got the Queensland effort across the line, with the women winning four out of six pairs, four out of six triples and two out of six singles.
In U-25 women’s singles, Cassandra Millerick (21-15) and April Wilson (21-17) had to wait until the final fifth and sixth tests to score a win for Queensland.
In U-25 women’s pairs, Lauren Wilson and Cassandra Millerick (21-20), Madison Styles and Rikki-Lee Kemp (17-16), April Wilson and Aimee Roberts (15-13) and Millerick and April Wilson (22-9) won in exhaustive clashes.
The U25-women’s triples winners were April Wilson 23-14, anchoring Roberts and Millerick, Madison Styles 18-14, anchoring Lauren Wilson and Roberts, Lauren Wilson 16-13, anchoring Styles and Rikki-Lee Kemp, and Millerick 26-10, anchoring Kemp and Lauren Wilson.
Team managers were Christina Pavlov and Bill Cornehls, with sponsor BCIB sending former NSW junior rep Blake Hopper as their representative.
“It was the best week, I’m only 24 myself, so it was really fun to be there with Queensland’s best and see how well they all played and what great representatives they were for our sport,” Hopper said.
Queensland V Auckland, December 18-20, 2013
Venue:Carlton Cornwall Bowls Club (Auckland)
U25 Men: Tim Colburn (Swifts), Braidan Leese (Coolangatta), Scott DeJongh (Broadbeach), Liam Blundell (Boyne Tannum), Rohan Wilson (Helensvale), Ashley Schmidt (Urangan).
U25 Women: Cassandra Millerick (Caloundra), Madison Styles (Kawana), Aimee Roberts (Marlin Coast), April Wilson (Helensvale), Rikki-Lee Kemp (Burnett), Lauren Wilson (Tweed Heads).
U18 Girls: Michaela Bailey-Nelson (Helensvale), Connie-Leigh Rixon (Kawana), Taleah Putney (Gayndah), Rebecca Rixon (Kawana), Sarah Wilson (South Tweed), Tiffany Murray (Miriam Vale)
U18 Boys: Jacob Nelson (Cleveland), Pau lKajewski (Burnett), Cohen Litfin (Jindalee), Hayden Vogler (West Toowoomba), Brendan Wilson (Tweed Heads), Mitchell Styles (Marlin Coast).
Despite valiant efforts, Queensland’s youngest international rep side was unable to wrest the trophy off the wily Auckland U-18s.
In the U-18 Boys Singles, Queensland dominated, winning four out of six tests due to the steely nerves of Cohen Litfin 21-20, Paul Kajewski 21-16, Brendan Wilson 21-17, and Hayden Vogler 21-3.
The Pairs were a trickier affair for the U-18 boys, with only one win and one draw out of the six tests.
However, the Queensland young guns proved themselves a quick study.
Although they went down in the first three pairs play-offs, they were able to draw on those losses to lift the result to a one draw/one win/one loss record on the second day.
Vogler (s) and Nelson drew 16-16 in the fourth test, Litfin (s) and Vogler 19-18 finally claimed the only U-18 boys pairs victory in the fifth, and Kajewski (s) and Litfin 15-16 went down by only a whisker in the sixth and final pairs test.
In the Triples, the record was three wins, three losses, with victories to Brendan Wilson 17-11 (anchoring Hayden Vogler and Paul Kajewski), Hayden Vogler 23-10 (anchoring Cohen Litfin and Jacob Nelson), and Paul Kajewski 20-12 (anchoring Mitchell Styles and Cohen Litfin).
In the U-18 Girls test series, Connie-Leigh Rixon 21-10 claimed the only singles win, with Tiffany Murray just missing out 20-21 in the third test.
In the U-18 Girls Pairs, Taleah Putney avenged her 9-21 singles loss, with a 16-11 win, anchoring Connie-Leigh Rixon.
The only other girls pairs winner was Tiffany Murray 20-14, anchoring Taleah Putney in the sixth and final test, and Michaela Bailey-Nelson, anchoring Tiffany Murray, was able to stay calm to hold Auckland to a 19-19 draw.
In the U-18 Girls Triples, again Taleah Putney proved herself a reliable skip, finishing off Sarah Wilson and Connie-Leigh Rixon’s excellent work for a 22-12 third test win, the only triples win for the U-18 girls.