Queenslanders kick-off finals campaign with Fours Silver at Australian Championships Gold and glory was the aim when Queensland’s teen stars took to the green at Nightcliff Bowls Club for this morning’s national fours finals in Darwin.
Instead they were forced to settle for silver, after coming undone against two talented Victorian outfits in the boys’ and girls’ finals.
For the boys it was very much a game of two halves, with Queensland’s Jake Rynne, Jacob Nelson, Jesse Turnbull and Hayden Vogler dominating the opening ends, before Joshua Corless’ Victorian side rallied to grab the gold.
“We were well in front, leading 14-5 by the halfway mark,” state coach Bill Cornehls said.
“Then the Victorian team started playing long ends and we struggled, putting down some short bowls, which hurt us a bit.
“They picked up four on the 11th to bring the score back to 14-10 and that seemed to give them a lot of heart and spirit to fight back.”
Going into the final end, Queensland were down 14-16, desperately needing at least two shots to force the tiebreaker and keep their gold medal hopes alive.
Holding shot with just one bowl to go, Queensland skip Hayden Vogler stepped up to play the most important bowl of his career to date.
“It was a really good bowl and he looked to be on target,” Cornehls said.
But disaster struck, Vogler’s bowl clipped the edge of a short bowl causing it to veer off course and crush Queensland’s hope of a gold medal finish.
“It was really disappointing for the guys, if he hadn’t clipped that short bowl we probably would have come away with two shots for the tiebreaker, possibly even three for an outright win,” said Cornehls.
It was a completely different story in the girls’ final, where Tiffany Murray’s Queensland side of Michaela Bailey-Nelson, Sophie Young and Taleah Putney were behind the eight ball from the very start.
Up against a battle-hardened Victorian side, the Queensland girls trailed 8-0 after just four ends, and had to muster all their courage just to keep their heads up and plough on through.
Which they did admirably, battling back to 6-8 before Victoria edged ahead again. The killer blow came in the 10th when, already leading 6-12, Victoria picked up another five to blaze ahead 6-17.
There was no way back for the Queensland girls, but they fought on bravely, going down 19-9 to take the silver.
“The girls just couldn’t overcome the consistency of the Victorian side,” Cornehls said.
“Still, both teams should be really proud of themselves, a silver medal is a great achievement.
“Also these were only the first of six gold medal play-offs, so there still plenty of time.”
Queensland are currently in action in two more gold medal matches, with Connie-Leigh Rixon battling WA’s Elizabeth Allan in the girls’ singles final and the boys outfit of Jacob Nelson and Nic Gosley taking on NSW’s Isaac Rayner and Jono Davis in the pairs.
Jake Rynne, Jesse Turnbull and Hayden Vogler are also in action, playing WA’s William Hyatt, Dan Nicholls and David Downey for the triples bronze.
Caption: Qld’s Hayden Vogler high-fives teammate Jake Rynne. Picture courtesy of Bowls Australia.