NSW and WA claim Senior Sides honours
Blues and Sandgropers wrap up titles at 2014 Australian Senior State Sides with one round to go Queensland’s Senior State Sides dreams came crashing down this afternoon, with NSW and WA claiming the top honours at Tweed Heads Bowls Club.
The Maroon men were chasing their fifth title at this year’s event, while the women were playing for their maiden over-60s crown.
Both teams were still in the hunt heading into Day 3 of the 2014 championships on the coast, but they not only needed to win their own games, they also needed other results to go their way.
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, with ladder-leaders NSW (men) and WA (women) refusing to play their part in a Queensland fairy-tale, winning their Day 3 games to wrap up the titles early.
Queensland is still in with a shot at the runner-up spot in both the men’s and women’s events, but they’ll need to win tomorrow’s final round and hope they have the rink wins to get them over the line.
All things considered, it was a pretty good day for the Maroon girls at Tweed Heads.
A bye first up gave the side time to rest and recuperate ahead of their crunch encounter with Victoria this afternoon.
And the morning off seemed to serve them well.
After two days of hard going, Queensland’s women came out and smashed the Vics in Round 6, clocking up a 30-shot win, 71-41.
“The girls had a fantastic game,” state coach Bill Cornehls said.
“Right from the start they were on top and they never took their foot off the pedal the whole way through the game.
“They’ve had a hard few games, so it was nice for them to get a big win like this, and not just on one or two rinks, but with all three rinks winning for the first time.”
Sue McKenzie’s new-look team of Anne McClure, Val Jackson and Mary Geary claimed their first win of the championships, beating former Scottish international Joyce Lindores 18-12.
Patty Elliot’s rink (Leigh Fortington, Teresa Armitage and Ann Russell) also came out on top, beating Vic’s Joy Johnson 26-20.
But once again it was Jenny Blundell’s side of Adele Pershouse, Sue Hunter and Lynn Long who piled on the points, demolishing Anne Miles 27-9, to drive up Queensland’s margin.
“The girls are still in with a shot at silver,” Cornehls said.
“It’s between us, NSW and possibly Tassie, so we’ve still got plenty to play for in the last round, even if the title isn’t possible.
“The girls will come out fighting in the morning, it will probably come down to margins so we’ll need every rink win and shot we can get.”
It was a particularly heart-breaking day for the men, with their title dreams crashing down on the last bowl of the last end in this afternoon’s clash with Victoria.
Geoff Hawken’s boys had another great game, clocking up an impressive 11-shot win on Ashley Bates, 24-13.
But when Nev Jenkins’ rink went down 16-20, it was left to Ken Luck’s crew to bring Queensland home.
“We were down 55-57 on the last end, so we needed three to win it,” Cornehls said.
As Luck would have it, with just three bowls to play, Queensland were holding two in the head.
Victorian skip Frank Tonn drove and was on target, but the jack rebounded up the green.
“We were still holding two, but there was now about three metres between our shot bowls and the jack,” Cornehls said.
“With his last bowl Kenny Luck drew another shot, close to the jack, but Tonn had plenty of space to draw second shot, which cut us down to one and we lost 56-57,” Cornehls said.
The heart-breaking loss spelled the end of Queensland’s title hopes and left Luck feeling a little despondent.
“Kenny felt like he had let the side down a bit, but there was absolutely nothing he could have done,” Cornehls said.
“We play as a team, not individuals. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and today we were on the losing side of the ledger.”
Queensland’s men are still in with a shot at second place, with WA and ACT also in the hunt.
The home side will need to win tomorrow’s clash with SA and hope they’ve got the rink wins to get them over the line.
Round 7 of the 2014 Australian Senior State Sides kicks off at Tweed Heads Bowls Club at 7.15am tomorrow (Qld time).
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