This is what they came for, the annual ANZAC test series Chairman’s XII Shield. Defence won this year’s series 3-0, a decisive comeback, QLD winning 2-1 last year. “We’ve looked at it and we’re after some credibility, and this is where it starts…”
This was the rally call by Australian Defence Force bowls association president Phil Black to his troops at Manly Bowls Club yesterday, as the rain lashed Brisbane, but the magnificent undercover carpet at Manly remained dry.
(What a magnificent venue, Manly couldn’t have been more welcoming, and what a great surface and environment to play in. The club rallied to support the Test Series when Hamilton was unable to host due to the flooding rains, and they were a magnificent substitute. BQ development officer and series organiser Charlie Harkness couldn’t say enough about Manly, much to the delight of secretary and junior coach Trevor Musch, on hand to take personal responsibility to make sure everything went smoothly for the test series at Manly.)
A small ANZAC commemorative service, and address by Mudgeeraba-Robina RSL’s Shakey Lake, also a life member of ASBA, was informative, proud and moving.
A former Navy warrant officer, Shakey talked about the Dead Man’s Penny, struck by King George for the next of kin of each serviceman or woman who was lost during WWI.
(Shakey’s research showed approximately 1.3 million were minted, approximately 60,000 were delivered to Australian families, including the next of kin of 21 woman. Shakey said when he was giving this address at one school on ANZAC Day, he said to the students “I’ll bet you’ve never heard of this”, and one little girl said “Our family has two…”)
And then the 12 QLD and 12 ASBA (Australian Services Bowls Assn) bowlers playing three rinks got straight down to business.
QLD’s Chairman’s XII won the inaugural ANZAC commemorative test series last year 2-1 at Hamilton.
This year, ASBA turned the tables, with the score going into today’s final test already 2-0.
Defence won the first test by a whisker 50-49, keeping Queensland’s hopes alive, but clinched the series last night in the second test, 63-54.
The Defence boys flew into Brisbane yesterday in torrential rain from Air Force, Navy and Army posts in Darwin, Perth, Canberra, Sale (Vic), and three NSW posts, Noura, Sydney and Newcastle.
So was QLD able to salvage some pride today, in the third and final test?
Unfortunately, no, the final nail biting ends drawing to a close with Defence only THREE SHOTS AHEAD over three rinks, taking the 2015 series and the Shield in a clean sweep, 3-0.
The ANZAC Shield is a test series played over five years, to mark 100 years since the First World War, 1914 – 1918.
This is the second year of the test series.
With two out of five series now played, the names on the Chairman’s XII Shield will show QLD 1, ASBA 1.
The test series will be played again in 2016, at a venue and date to be announced, but will be held as soon as the Defence bowlers can get to Brisbane after their ANZAC Day obligations.