Battle against the Blues looms
The annual battle royale between the two giants of state bowls, Queensland and New South Wales, will be played at Chermside Bowls Club next week (Feb 17-18). This time next week, Queensland will roll the first bowl in its annual three-test series against NSW.
Queensland is keen to stem the rot, with the Blues boys up for three-in-a-row, and the Blues girls hoping for their fifth consecutive title.
However as best performed state at Australian Sides in Burnie TAS last year, Queensland is not of a mind to let NSW have its own way this year.
“It’s always hotly contested, a state battle royale,” Queensland high performance coach Bill Cornehls said.
“Both QLD and NSW have been at the top of the annual Australian Sides competition for the past decade, and this battle of the giants is a great warm up to the main game.” (The Maroons are defending champs at Australian Sides, Yokine WA, April 9-12. Last year, the men won, and the women were runners up, with Queensland winning top state overall.)
Lots of top performing bowlers around Queensland wonder why the same old names keep coming up, and how they might catch the eye of selectors themselves…? (According to the state coach, the selectors are very well aware of the depth of talent in the state.)
“Queensland is in a fortunate position that we have so many high calirbre players knocking on the door of state selection, it’s why we’re performing so strongly,” Cornehls said.
“There are only 12 positions in a side, I wish we had more, and we want players to keep a-knocking…
“The incumbent players are performing partly because of the pressure from those just outside, and it’s keeping us at the top…the men won the Alley Shield last year at Australian Sides for the best performed state men’s team.
“You can’t do better than win, so the selectors have gone with the same team for the upcoming test series against NSW.”
The women also performed well at Australian Sides 2014, only a half-rink behind first-placed NSW.
“You can tweak things a little bit without undermining team demographics, but consistency in selection is extremely important,” Cornehls said.
“It’s also important to get people in the right playing positions, to give Queensland the best opportunity to perform as a side at the highest levels.
“In this upcoming test series against the Blues, I’m expecting Queensland’s women to have a bold and strong showing against the benchmark NSW team, winners of the Marj Morris trophy at Ausralian Sides last year.”
Cornehls called for bowlers to come and support their state team at Chermside Bowls Club next Tuesday and Wednesday (Feb 17-18).
“The more atmosphere we create, the more our team will lift, we want NSW stopped in its tracks, and Queensland’s name on those trophies at the end of the series.”
The men play for the Wal Currey Shield and the women play for “The Ashes”.
(A QLD V NSW U25 test series will be played later in the year.)
More information about the upcoming test series can be found on Bowls Queensland’s website www.bowlsqld.org EVENTS, FEBRUARY
The teams for Queensland are:
Sam Wilson (L), Yvonne Lovelock (2) Tracy Foster (3), Jane Bush (S).
Kristy Thatcher (L), Bolivia Millerick (2), Charlie Harkness (3) Lynsey Clarke (S).
Natasha Jones (L), Christina Pavlov (2), Rosie Lovelock (3), Pamela Rowe (S).
Darren Mullens (L), Anthony Kiepe (2), Brett Wilkie (3), Kelvin Kerkow OAM (S).
Brendon Egan (L), Alex Murtagh (2), Anthony Fantini (3), Mark Casey (S).
Mark Thatcher (L), Robert Wild (2), Sean Baker (3), Nathan Rice (S).
The teams for NSW are:
Dawn Hayman (L), Katrina Wright (2), Kay Moran (3), Karen Murphy (S).
Kelly Richards (L), Beth Quinlan (2), Anne Johns (3), Natasha Scott (S).
Sarah Boddington (L), Ellen Ryan (2), Claire Turley (3), Kelsey Cottrell (S).
Matt Miles (L), Andrew Howie (2), Matt Baus (3), Aron Sherriff (S)
Ray Pearse (L), Mat Pietersen (2), Mark Berghofer (3), Wayne Turley (S).
Carl Healey (L), Nathan Wise (2), Ben Twist (3), David Ferguson (S).