Every bowl counts
Queensland and Auckland’s U25 invitational sides are evenly matched in this year’s “Across the Ditch” challenge. Who will break the deadlock? U18s have the series in the bag for Queensland. The first test tomorrow will be a crucial one for U25 defending champion Queensland in the fourth annual Across the Ditch Challenge, being played at Musgrave Hill Bowls Club on Queensland’s Gold Coast (Dec 9-11).
Queensland’s U18s today clinched the Shield, winning their fourth consecutive test against Auckland U18s, with three tests to play tomorrow, “dead rubbers”, but still crucial to everything that is important about the development test series, where winning the Shield is a bonus rather than the focus.
“The goal of the series is to allow coaches to trial players and combinations, with a view to future representative sides,” Queensland state high performance coach Bill Cornehls said.
“It’s a great result for Queensland, we lost the U18 series last year in New Zealand, so it’s great to have reversed the result this year.”
However the games Queensland is sweating on tomorrow will be played in the U25 test series.
Queensland and Auckland go into the final day of play tied.
After two days of play, they have both won two tests, and the margins are extremely narrow (seven shots in the first test, 10 in the second, exactly square in the third, and nine shots in the fourth).
With three tests to go, Cornehls says the fifth test, being played from 9am tomorrow (Thurs Dec 11), is tactically and strategically critical.
“It will be a springboard to decide the winner of the U25 Shield,” Cornehls said.
“Whoever wins will know they have to win only one more, it will give an enormous confidence boost.
“Our goal is to win the fifth test!”
However, Cornehls said even if Queensland doesn’t win, they’ll still be competitive to the end.
“There’s three tests tomorrow, there would still be a chance,” Cornehls said.
“We’ve been talking about how to play to one’s strengths after a setback, ignore what shot “should” be played and play what you do well, to get your confidence back, you can’t win a high performance test series without confidence.”
Cornehls said Auckland would be particularly hungry going into Test 5 tomorrow, for two reasons: 1) The U18 Shield has already gone (unofficially) to Queensland, with four consecutive test wins, out of a total seven to be contested. (Auckland won’t want to go home empty-handed after such a tight and vigorous series.) and 2) Queensland won the U25 Shield in Auckland last year, the visitors would like to reverse the result in 2014.
“Auckland is extremely motivated to reverse last year’s result, the Auckland U25s last year lost on the last bowl of the final end of the final test at home, they’ll be supremely motivated to reverse that result in Australia this year,” Cornehls said.
“But we’ll be competitive, we de-brief after each test, the players identify what worked, what didn’t, and what they will take into the next test.”
Under 18s – Day 2
The U18s (unofficially) clinched the Shield today, winning all three tests, and yesterday’s opening test, putting them in an unassailable position going into the final three tests tomorrow (Thurs Dec 11).
Test 1 – Qld 111 def Auckland 77
Test 2 – Qld 109 def Auckland 78
Test 3 – Qld 110 def Auckland 97
Test 4 – Qld 121 def Auckland 74
Boosting the points for Queensland U18s today were two wins in the girls singles, Binjour’s Brittanny Wiley’s 21-5 against Auckland’s Cait Bassett and Jacinta Weier’s 21-2 singles win over Auckland’s Mackenzie Blucher.
The U18 boys have had an amazingly successful test series to date, with very few losses.
In the fourth test today, Nathan Wilson, Dale McWhinney-Shillington and Windsor skip Daniel Keogh had a determined win over Auckland’s Brayden Silby, Aiden Takaura and Clayton Hockley, 24-7.
Full results see BQ’s website www.bowlsqld.org or Click Here https://www.bowlsqld.org/Events/State-Events/Qld-vs-Auckland#Draw-Results-474