Sharing the spoils
Queensland juniors blitz the U18 comp, Auckland wins in margins in U25 comp, Across the Ditch Challenge 2014 (Musgrave Hill Dec 9-11). After six tests in the fourth annual Across the Ditch Challenge, Queensland has claimed the U18 Shield, Auckland will go home with the U25 Shield, reversing last year’s finishes.
Both coaches feel the annual development test series produced exactly the results they were seeking, increased experience and maturity in the young bowlers, regardless of who eventually won the silverware.
Queensland’s U18 invitation side of Jacinta Weier, Rebecca Rixon, Jessie Cottell, Sophie Young, Brittanny Wiley, Tiffany Murray, Daniel Keogh, Jacob Nelson, Liam Stephan, Mitchell Mears, Dale McWhinney-Shillington, and Nathan Wilson has brought home the Across the Ditch Challenge Shield for 2014.
It has spent the past year in New Zealand, after last year’s Auckland U18 side proved themselves superior on their acccostomed surface, but this year, the Queenslanders were convincing winners, and again, the familiar home surface helped.
Coaches on both sides of the Ditch were happy with the outcome, and how much their players evolved and matured during the series.
“It gave us a look at a few more players, it’s always great to have depth,” Queensland state high performance coach Bill Cornehls said.
In today’s fifth and sixth tests, standout performances came from Sophie Young (Capalaba) in her singles match against Auckland’s Alex Greer, Alex unable to post a point as Sophie roared to an 18-0 lead.
“Nobody was going to win against Sophie today, she played 18 ends, and she won every one of them, a powerful performance,” Cornehls said.
For New Zealand, Auckland’s Antonia Victor, Ashleigh Jeffcoat and Sophie Fisher had a brilliant run in the final triples contest of the tournament, winning 34-2 against Queensland’s Jacinta Weier, Jessie Cottell, Rebecca Rixon.
Today’s Results U18 Test 5, Queensland 130 def Auckland 63 (10 rubbers to 2), Test 6, Queensland 88 def Auckland 73 (10 rubbers to 2).
The U25 test series was won by Auckland in a cliff hanger, both sides winning three tests each, but NZ snaring the Shield on margins.
“It’s close, to win the Shield by just 16 shots, over six tests,” Queensland coach Bill Cornehls said.
The fifth test result was indicative of how close the U25 contest was, Queensland in fact won, seven rubbers to five, but on margins, New Zealand was ahead by five shots in the test they lost, 101-96.
Madi Styles and Kiani Andersen both hung tough to take their singles matches, Madi defeating Alzeena Levi 21-20 and Kiani defeating Savannah Lauder 18-4.
Going into the sixth and final test today, NZ was down one, the test tally 3-2 to Queensland.
However, Auckland levelled the series, with another close result, NZ winning the sixth test by three shots (82-79, six rubbers each).
Queensland’s U25 players were Kiani Andersen, Cassandra Millerick, Madi Styles, Taleah Putney, Michaela Bailey Nelson, Aymee Bellert, Cohen Litfin, Brendan Wilson, Jason Carpenter, Ben Savva, Paul Kajewski, and Nic Gosley.
(The Mixed Pairs seventh test was cancelled due to impending bad weather.)
Click here for full test results https://www.bowlsqld.org/Events/State-Events/Qld-vs-Auckland#Draw-Results-474