Blockbuster finish for State Mixed Pairs
A warring couple, a wedding singer and an international superstar…what more could you want in a state bowls showdown? Queensland’s 2014 State Mixed Pairs came to a blockbuster conclusion this afternoon, with king of the green, Kurt Brown, bagging his fourth SMP title since 2009.
In a finale worthy of the Hollywood treatment, Brown hooked up with his wedding singer, to take on his wife and her superstar coach in the grand final.
Representing Brisbane North at the event, Brown and former Queensland rep Ester Regan (lead) stormed through sectional play undefeated and into the title-match.
There they faced the Sunshine Coast champs, Club Kawana’s Emma Brown (Kurt’s wife) and former World Indoor Singles champ, Ian Schuback.
A battle royale ensued, but, playing on Kurt’s home turf at Club Pine Rivers, the Brisbane North pair had the best of the early ends, racing out to a 12-5 lead after 11.
No stranger to the big stage, Shuey kept his cool.
With Emma playing superb lead bowls, he finally struck back on the 12th, stringing together three ends, 3-1-1, to put his team right back in the match, 10-12.
Then, after trailing for 14 ends, the Kawana pair picked up four to hit the front for the first time, 14-13.
Regan and Brown struck back, regaining the lead with just minutes left on the clock, 15-14.
A new end got underway, giving Kawana one last chance at the title, but when the bell sounded Regan and Brown were holding two.
The writing seemed to be on the wall for the Sunny Coast reps, but Shuey had other ideas.
After a brief consultation with the umpire to ascertain the dead end rule, the Aussie bowling legend played a killer drive…literally.
The end was restarted, but by the time Shuey got back on the mat, Regan and Brown were again holding shot.
The Kawana superstar launched another killer drive, but this time he missed and the 2014 title went to Regan and Brown, 16-14.
“The State Mixed Pairs has been really good to me over the years,” Brown said following his win.
“It was at this event four years ago that I first met Emma, then we won it together two years ago, just two weeks after we were married.
“It was really strange playing against her in the final, and especially playing with Ester, who was the singer at our wedding two years ago.
“But it was a great final and I’m delighted to win a fourth Mixed Pairs title,” he said.
Brown first won his maiden Mixed Pairs crown in 2009 alongside Bargara’s Gail Crompton.
The pair, representing Bundaberg/Port Curtis, backed up in 2010, before Brown made the move to Cairns.
He took out his third title in 2012 alongside new wife Emma, representing Tropical Far North Queensland.