More Silverware for Queensland Juniors
Queensland looking for a strong finish in remaining gold medal matches Queensland’s under-18s are still chasing that elusive golden moment in Darwin, after missing out again at the Australian junior championships.
Connie-Leigh Rixon, who blazed through sectional play and into the blue-ribbon singles finals, was out-played by WA sharpshooter Elizabeth Allan in the third of today’s gold medal play-offs, 21-11.
A couple of rinks away, Rixon’s teammates Jacob Nelson and Nic Gosley also suffered a heart-breaking loss, going down by one on an extra end of the boys’ pairs final, 17-16.
The latest losses come on the back of Queensland’s disappointment in this morning’s fours gold medal matches, and will make it that little bit more difficult for the Maroons to clinch this year’s overall titles.
“I think we’re still in the hunt at this stage,” state coach Bill Cornehls said.
“It’s certainly very close, especially on the girls’ side of things, but at the minute I’d saw it’s between us and Victoria.”
Queensland are currently playing for gold in the boys’ singles, with Nic Gosley taking on Victoria’s Jay Bye-Norris, while the girls’ triples outfit of Michaela Bailey-Nelson, Connie-Leigh Rixon and Tiffany Murray are battling NSW’s Lauren Shaw, Molly Wilton and Jamie-Lee Worsnop for the top honours.
Queensland duo Sophie Young and Taleah Putney are also in action, battling Victoria’s Tiffany Brodie and Tayla Morison for pairs bronze.
Wins in those three games could be enough to propel Queensland to the top of the overall table.
Rixon looked to be in good form for this afternoon’s singles clash, pushing out to a 9-5 lead early in the match.
But her run wasn’t to last, with Allan finally getting to grips with the green
“It really was a game of two halves,” Cornehls said.
“Connie was playing well, whereas at the start her opponent seemed to be struggling a bit. But as the game went on, the WA girl got better and better.
“Once she got used to the line and speed of the green, she started getting her first and second bowls in, then she started converting the head and just making it really difficult for Connie to get any points on the board.
“To her credit, Connie tried everything, but she just couldn’t get a look in.”
Rixon was kept scoreless for much of the second half of the match, eventually going down 21-11.
“She’s obviously a bit disappointed now, when you play in a gold medal match, you want to come away with gold. But once it’s all over I think she’ll be pretty happy with winning silver at national championships,” Cornehls said.
Disappointed will be how Jacob Nelson and Nic Gosley are feeling too, after coming within a whisker of winning the pairs gold.
After dropping five on the opening end, the boys clawed their way back into the match against NSW’s Isaac Rayner & Jono Davis, eventually leveling the scores on the 15th, before taking a one-shot lead on the 16th.
NSW picked up another two, leaving the Queensland boys trailing by one heading into the last end.
It looked like the sun was finally shining on Queensland, as Nelson and Gosley held two on the last end with just one bowl to go.
But with his last bowl Davis drew second shot to send the match to an extra end.
Again Queensland were holding when the skips stepped up to the mat with their final bowls.
NSW drove, splashing the jack off to the side, which Gosley drew to easily.
Davis’ draw was better though, almost sitting on the jack with his final bowl. Gosley had mere inches to get inside, but he couldn’t quite make it and NSW took the win and the gold, 17-16.
There was better news in the boys triples, with Hayden Vogler skipping his side of Jake Rynne and Jesse Turnbull to a bronze medal win over WA’s William Hyatt, Dan Nicholls and David Downey.
A bit of toing and froing saw the boys fall behind, but they fought back strong to clinch the match 14-10, bringing Queensland’s medal tally to an impressive four silver and one bronze with three finals still to go.
Caption: Nic Gosley in action during the pairs gold medal match. Picture courtesy of Bowls Australia.