Long time between drinks
Bundy mates Daniel Stanton-Cook and Darren McCracken won their first state pairs title in 1989, as juniors. A renewed collaboration in 2014 has resulted in a second state pairs title. They won a state pairs title as juniors in 1989 and 25 years later, they “owned” Pine Rivers pirates Paul Jopson and Kurt Brown, to take their second state pairs title.
“We won as Juniors in 1989 and we haven’t played together since, it’s fantastic to come back together for this tournament and win,” lead Daniel Stanton-Cook said.
Stanton-Cook is a mail contractor for Australia Post and starts work at 4am tomorrow in Bundaberg, the big win will make the early start more bearable.
“We just kept hanging in there, it’s a long journey to get to a state final like Champion of Club Champions, we’ve had some amazing games and narrow escapes along the way, it feels great to achieve this state title, very happy,” Darren McCracken said.
Crackers was unlucky at the weekend to miss out on the 2014 state fours title, his rink outclassed for the one and only time in the champion of club champions fours tournament in the final, against Steve Tong’s Hamilton boys.
But the quietly spoken skip made sure of it today, racing away from the Pine Rivers duo early on and keeping a controlled grip.
The score was 7-1 to Across the Waves after five ends, 12-7, after 12 ends.
Brown’s boys looked to be back in the game on the 16th end, when the margin narrowed to just three shots, 16-13.
The Pirates had plenty of bowls in the head on a number of occasions, but couldn’t convert the head, and Across the Waves avoided an upset, making sure of the title 21-14 after 20 ends.
Surprisingly the Pine Rivers cheer squad was thin on the ground, with only club president Ron Howden coming down to Toombul to witness the two finals appearances of the club’s pairs champions.
For the state pairs runners up, bitter disappointment.
It’s the fourth state pairs title in recent years where the talented Pine Rivers duo has “choked” in a final or semi final, including in last year’s semi against Broadbeach, where a brilliant Brown was beaten by an even more brilliant Sean Ingham on the last bowl of the final end.
“It’s just so frustrating, we’ve been so close so many times and we lose it at the end, I don’t know if we get nervous, it’s really disappointing,” Brown said.
“They got ahead of us today, the wind was swirling around, and I just wasn’t feeling confident, to drive well and put the bowl exactly where you want it, you’ve got to be confident, and I was struggling.”
“We tried to fight, but they handled the conditions better than us,” Jopson said.
“I reckon if we can crack our first win, then we’ll be unstoppable!” Brown said.
The Pine Rivers skip discovered it’s hard to play tough bowls against childhood mates, a former Tantitha bowler himself, playing against Across the Waves boys who were also former Tantitha team mates.
“I’ve played with these boys, Darren and Daniel, since I was 14, I found it really hard to play against them,” Brown said.
No one knows the staying power required to win a state title better than those who finally arrive there.
“We started this journey back in January, it’s a really long process to win a state champion of club champions title, 10 months later, here we are in the final, we had chances to win, but we couldn’t make it happen,” Brown said sadly.
Brown’s goal is to play for Queensland again in 2015.
He is still an “Under 25” player, not aging up until June 2015, but his goal has always been state side, since he was a junior in Mundubbera, playing bowls with the former Tantitha.
The Queensland open team is already heavy with great skips, but Brown has his eye on a No 2 spot if he continues to play well.
“The Across the Waves boys were great today, they played well, good on them,” Brown said.
McCracken returns to his job at Campbells Cash and Carry in Bundaberg, having already done what must feel like a full week’s work on the bowls green since Saturday.
Congratulations to both Across the Waves, mens pairs champions, and Club Pine Rivers, men’s pairs runner up, 2014.
The sections finishers were:
Section One 1. Club Pine Rivers 2. Indooroopilly 3. Tweed Heads 4. Rainbow Beach.
Section Two 1. Across the Waves (Bundaberg) 2. South Johnstone 3. Marian (Mackay) 4. Chinchilla.
The Singles competition begins tomorrow, all three rounds in one day, with the Singles final on Thursday morning at 9am (Toombul Bowls Club).