Leese lucks out at junior champs
Litfin and Andersen win pairs, while Vogler’s boys battle their way to fours gold. He has been a dominant force at the championships in recent years, with at least half a dozen state titles to his name, but Braidan Leese’s luck may have finally run out at Queensland’s Junior Champs.
Leese, who turns 18 later this year, was hoping to make a statement at this year’s junior championships, the last he’ll ever compete at.
And the Coolangatta ace looked bang on track, reaching the pairs and fours finals at Broadbeach today.
But a dramatic one-shot loss in the pairs final put a dent in Leese’s campaign, before the wheels fell off entirely during his 18-shot drubbing in the fours.
Cohen and Joel clinch Pairs title
They don’t come much tighter than the U18 pairs final, with Cohen Liftin and Joel Andersen snatching victory from the jaws of defeat on the last end of the match.
Trailing Stephen Savage and skip Leese 16-18 heading into the final end, the duo pulled off a vital three-shot win to wrap up the title, 19-18.
“I can’t believe it,” said Andersen after the match. “It’s our third really close game in a row.
“In the semifinal we won on an extra end and in last night’s post-sectional we got two on the last end to win…it’s just been a really tough competition.”
It’s Andersen’s second state pairs title, with the 16-year-old winning the U15s gold alongside twin brother Josh in 2011.
“Josh is here this year, but we didn’t play together because we both wanted to skip.
“Obviously he’s not with me so he’s not doing too well,” Joel joked.
Vogler’s boys smash Leese in fours final
Andersen was hoping his pairs win might also pay dividends in the fours final.
“I’m in Braidan’s team in the fours, so I’m hoping he’ll be really fired up after losing the pairs and we’ll go on to win the fours,” he said.
It didn’t quite work out the way he’d hoped though.
Far from winning, Leese’s side of Andersen, Mitchell Styles and Stephen Savage were hammered in the fours final.
The Hayden Vogler-skipped outfit of Jake Rynne, Thomas Young and Mitchell Mears demolished Leese’s boys in a completely one-sided affair, 24-6.
So dominant was Vogler’s side, that by the ninth end Leese was trailing 17-zip and by the 11th he was down 23-1.
“I don’t think I’ve ever lost like that before, especially not in a final,” said a disappointed Leese after the match.
“It’s been a long day, but I wouldn’t use that as an excuse…they just played well and we didn’t, that was it.”
It was sweet revenge for Vogler’s boys, who went down to Leese in the same fixture last year.
“I guess it is a bit of revenge,” said Vogler, who was full of praise for his teammates, crediting them with the win.
“I’m a bit shocked with the score to be honest, I always though we could win, but never by so much.
“My team played really well…they put me in an armchair and carried me along for the ride, apart from a few shots I didn’t have to do anything.”
Jake and Charles clinch U15s title
The under-15 pairs crown went Gold Coast-Tweed’s Jake Nicholson (Paradise Point) and Charles Clarke (Tweed Heads).
The duo came through the U15s field undefeated and into the final, where they impressed against Sean Gillis and Zac Adams, 21-13.
It was a fifth straight win for the boys, who have teamed up with Jayden Cottell for the triples and are also in the hunt for the under-15s singles title.
Junior State Championships action continues tomorrow, with triples knockout at Musgrave Hill Bowls Club.
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