Pirates chasing Champ of Champs plunder
Pine Rivers teams sail through Day 1 of Champion of Club Champions state pairs finals at Toombul Queensland’s Champion of Club Champions turned into a swashing-buckling affair today, with Pirates out to plunder pairs gold at the 2014 state finals in Brisbane.
With just one sectional round to play, teams from Club Pine Rivers are hot favourites to reach tomorrow’s men’s and women’s title-deciders at Toombul Bowls Club.
Fresh off his victory at this month’s State Mixed Pairs (Oct 12), Pirates skip Kurt Brown steered good mate Paul Jopson through Day 1 undefeated.
Joppo and Brown cruised past Tweed Heads’ Greg Ash and Max Jaffray in this morning’s championship opener, 18-11, before edging out Rainbow Beach pair Kostas Ladas and Adam Hately in Round 2, 23-20.
However, despite their Day 1 success, Joppo and Brown don’t top the table in Section 1, and have a huge test tomorrow in their bid to reach the final.
Indooroopilly’s Stephen Hayden and Greg Rolls have captured the top spot, clocking up double-digit wins in today’s opening rounds.
The Indro outfit smashed Ladas and Hately 23-13, before steam-rolling their Tweed Heads rivals in Round 2, 31-10.
Their Round 3 clash with Joppo and Brown (Tuesday 8.30am) may well prove the match of the tournament, as these two red-hot sides do battle for a final berth.
Meanwhile in Section 2, Bundaberg duo Daniel Stanton-Cook and Darren McCracken look set to take a spot in the title-decider.
The Across-the-Waves pair notched up two wins on Day 1, beating Marian’s Kerry Ollett and Barry Jackson 24-17, before squeezing past Chinchilla’s Peter and Gerard Bellgrove, 19-16.
A draw between the Marian duo and South Johnstone’s Santo Raciti and Kevin Deegan means the Bundy boys aren’t home and dry yet.
But McCracken, a state finals regular and 2009 fours champion, will be confident going into his clash with South Johnstone tomorrow.
Club Pine Rivers is also cruising towards the pairs final in the women’s event, with Pirates duo Linda Morrish and Dawn Denford emerging unscathed from Day 1.
The Pirate pair top Section 2 following wins over Mt Gravatt’s Dabbie Logan and Christine Baxter, 23-16, and South Toowoomba’s Margaret Short and Fran Connors, 22-18.
As the only undefeated team in Section 2, Morrish and Denford could lose tomorrow’s Round 3 clash and still possibly make the final on margins.
However, with winless Ipswich duo Tinie Pearce and Marie Lipp all that stands between Pine Rivers and the final, it’s more likely Morrish and Denford will go through unbeaten.
Things will get infinitely more difficult once there however, with the pirates’ likely rivals for this year’s title, Mareeba’s Eileen Stevens and Sue Brady.
Brady, a long-time Queensland rep boasting a trophy cabinet bursting with gold, is a former Champion of Champions Pairs winner (2004).
She has also claimed the singles title on three separate occasions, (2004, 2005 and 2011).
Together with Stevens, Brady tops Section 1 following wins over Mackay City’s Margaret Egerton and Dawn Field, 22-19, and Tewantin-Noosa’s Jenny Lonie and Robyn McAnelly 22-12.
The Mareeba duo aren’t the only undefeated side in Section 1, with Monto’s Gwenda Stubbs and Bronwyn Torrens also going through Day 1 unbeaten, but they are firm favourites to reach the title match with just one round to go.
Round 3 of the 2014 Champion of Club Champions state pairs kicks off at 8.30am tomorrow at Brisbane’s Toombul Bowls Club and will be followed by the final at 12.30pm.
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Caption: Paul Jopson is hoping to take out the men’s title with a little help from Pine Rivers mate Kurt Brown.