Baker’s boys cooking up a title win
We’re down to the pointy end of the men’s State Fours Championships and Sean Baker’s boys are hot favourites to take home the title. It may be a new-look side from the one he skipped to glory in 2007, but Sean Baker’s boys are still red-hot favourites heading into tomorrow’s State Fours semi-finals at Broadbeach Bowls Club (9am).
Baker and Queensland teammate Robert Wild are the sole remaining members of the 2007 championship-winning team, with Paul Petersen and David Willcocks dropping off the bowling map.
The former champ has drafted in some handy replacements though, with Pine Rivers ace Aaron Hewson and 2014 State Singles runner-up Jamie Anderson filling the breach.
Baker’s side has stormed through the competition, clocking up three straight wins in Section 6, including a three-shot victory over Ryan Bester’s 2012 winning side, 19-16.
And if that’s not proof enough of their dominance in this event, the foursome also knocked off Nathan Rice’s all-star 2011 winning team of Anthony Fantini, Brett Wilkie and Mark Casey, 19-11, for a spot in the semis.
(Brett Wilkie wasn’t actually part of Rice’s 2011 winning side. He replaces original team member Anthony Kiepe.)
However, despite their success to date, Baker’s crew will have a fight on their hands to reach the 2014 final.
Taking them on at Broadbeach tomorrow morning will be seasoned campaigners, Lindsay Ponting, Nigel Smith, Brenda Hoey and Nev Jenkins (skip).
Smith and Jenkins are also former State Fours champs, having played in Kelvin Kerkow’s 2009 championships-winning team.
The duo also has form in other events, with three consecutive State Over-60s Pairs titles to their names. (Hoey also has an Over-60s Pairs title from 2010.)
Jenkins’ side came through sectionals undefeated, before despatching Anthony Williams’ Maryborough Service team, 22-16, to reach the semi-finals.
In the second semi, Steve Halmai’s talented outfit of Paul Jopson, Richard Strawbridge and Kurt Brown will take on surprise semi-finalists Tony Carlyon, Bob Denham, Chris Jagusch and Rodney Smith (skip).
Halmai’s side edged out defending champs Rohan Wilson, Steve Bell, Paul Vardy and Des Cann Jnr, 17-14, to reach the penultimate round.
Smith, meanwhile, scraped through a tough Section 1 on margins, beating sides skipped by Queensland rep Dean McWhinney and Tewantin Noosa’s Troy Rowley, but going down to Bob Dobinson’s experienced outfit, 16-21.
Smith’s boys are definite underdogs going into the semis, but with nothing to lose, their bite may just prove bigger than their bark.
Saturday 17 May 2014, Semi Final and Final at Broadbeach 9am
T Carlyon, B Denham, C Jagusch, R Smith VS P Jopson, R Strawbridge, K Brown, S Halmai
A Hewson, J Anderson, R Wild, S Baker VS L Ponting, N Smith, B Hoey, N Jenkins
Click here for full results