There’s no i in Queensland
Chookie celebrates 300th test for Queensland with Alley Shield victory! Queensland’s men are 2014 Australian Sides champions, lifting the national title at Tasmania’s South Burnie Bowls Club this afternoon.
The Mighty Maroons, unbeatable following today’s hard-fought wins over New South Wales and West Australia, have the coveted Alley Shield safely tucked up in their luggage with one test still to play in the annual state-vs-state competition.
“It’s a great team achievement. The boys have really played well over the last few days and I think overall we deserved the win,” said Queensland legend Kelvin Kerkow.
It wasn’t always easy though, with Queensland scraping through some nail-biting encounters and winning four of their six games on just one rink…although Kerkow isn’t worried about being called a one-rink wonder.
“At the end of the day it’s what’s on the big board that counts…it’s does matter if you win on one rink or by one shot, as long as you’re ahead on that scoreboard that’s all that matters.
“It wasn’t any one team carrying the others. We were relying on Lurch (Nathan Rice) to get us over the line this afternoon, my boys have stepped up with important wins a couple of times and Case (Mark Casey) has had a couple of big wins as well.
“I think it shows we’ve got three really good, balanced teams. But we don’t play as individual teams, we play as a team of 12 and we’re only focused on that main scoreboard.
“If we win our own rinks that’s a bonus, but it’s not our focus,” Kerkow said.The Queensland boys definitely have a thing for drama, keeping spectators on the edge of their seats.
Following this morning’s rollercoaster one-shot win over New South Wales, the Maroons were at it again this afternoon, beating WA by one, 51-50.
As a result they’ll go into tomorrow’s clash with South Australia safe in the knowledge they can’t be beaten. Something that makes state coach Bill Cornehls extremely happy.
“It’s just amazing to win the way we did, I’m so proud of the boys, they really deserve it,” Cornehls said.
“Before the tournament we spoke about getting in there, gritting our teeth and playing hard, but smart. That’s exactly what the boys did and it paid off for them.
“It wasn’t always easy, the conditions were hard at times, the greens were difficult and the opposition was tough.
“We didn’t get as many rink wins as you’d like, but the boys really dug deep for each other and came through it all.
“I know we say it all the time, but I can’t emphasis enough how much of a team effort this was.
“Each team had its ups and downs, but whether they were winning big or trying to contain a loss, they were playing a part in the overall win.
“Some teams don’t play like that, but these boys do and I’m so proud of them…it’s what got them over the line in every game.”
Or as Anthony Fantini succinctly put it: “there’s no i in Queensland.”
Chookie marks 300th game with Alley Shield win
Anthony Kiepe marked a major milestone in this afternoon’s win over West Australia, playing his 300th test match for Queensland.
It was a fitting tribute to Kiepe, who is one of very few players to have donned the maroon 300 times.
“It’s been a big honour to play for Queensland over the years,” Chookie said, when presented with a special commemoration medal by Bowls Queensland Chairman, Ron Chambers.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better way to mark the occasion…winning the Australian Sides with this group of guys has been brilliant.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time playing for Queensland and hopefully it can continue for a while.”
Kiepe’s skip, Kelvin Kerkow, is the only other current Queensland player to have reached 300 tests, with Kerkow actually nearing the 400 mark.
“Chookie has been awesome this week,” Kerkow said.
“He has been a great player for Queensland over the years and he’s a great guy, it’s a pleasure to play in the same team.”