Triples tonic for Strawbridge

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Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, Strawbridge has made 10 state finals over the past 10 years, and always returned home empty handed.
Their challengers, the McWhinney trio, Dean’s mum Jackie’s husband, Graeme Shillington, on lead and Ian Law at No. 2 appeared to have run out of steam after their mammoth effort in blitzing their semi final opponents, Nathan Rice’s Helensvale All-stars, 31-15.
With skip Kurt Brown looking as relaxed as he had all week, the play followed suit and a 14-1 lead was built over McWhinney.
Having won their semi 35-15, Brown and his boys were in fine form and didn’t give McWhinney’s powerful unit a sniff, only conceding consecutive ends once.
Strawbridge’s goal was achieved convincingly, 28-15, as nerves were held, and a three shot winning end left the Pirates to pick up the treasure.
“I was very keen to win this one,” said a jubilant Strawbridge.
Having been runners up in this year’s Fours, it was a great relief for Brown, Strawbridge and Jopson to get their hands on the trophy
Lynsey Clarke was also desperate to prove her State title credentials.
“It’s my first state championship in two years, I was away on my honeymoon last year, and on national duties the year before, so it’s great to be back playing a Queensland state championship,” said Clarke.
Lining up with Natasha Jones and Charlie Harkness, Clarke’s girls flexed their muscles in the semi with a 22-15 victory but were facing a Bolivia Millerick led-outfit on a hot streak.
A 31-10 humbling of Claire Hill on the back of a Fours title sent a message from Millerick that Clarke would not have things her own way.
Honours were fairly even in the opening 10 ends as Clarke led 9-7.
But six unanswered ends totalling 14 shots gave the Jackaroo’s captain a commanding lead.
Millerick, one of the captain’s biggest fans, just couldn’t get her team, which included sister Cass and Karen Goldsworthy, back in the game once Clarke had stamped her authority.
The final fizzled out and Clarke wrapped up the match in the 22nd end, 26-10.
It was the first state championships win for Harkness since 2010, when she and Yvonne Lovelock beat Lynsey Armitage (now Clarke) and Brenda Thompson in the Pairs title.
Juniors star Natasha Jones will stay with her Triples skip for the upcoming Pairs tournament, and Harkness will again team up with Lovelock.
The Brown-Clarke triples win was a popular one with the fans who gathered at Broadbeach to watch the finals.