Gold Coast’s District Sides domination continues, with another championship clean-sweep for the men With more District Sides wins than any other team, including 11 titles in the last 15 years, you have to ask, is Gold Coast Tweed unstoppable?
Even without many of the Coast’s biggest stars, the Goldie boys blazed through this year’s championships, unbeaten over 12 rounds.
It’s the second year running Gold Coast have come through undefeated, earning the boys their 28th title since the competition’s inception in 1948, and their 11th District Sides win since 2000.
But despite their abundant success, the players aren’t blasé about today’s victory.
“It’s the second year we’ve been undefeated, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t tough,” Gold Coast third, Ian Law said.
“We had to work hard in a lot of tough games, and not every team won every game. As a group we all did our bit, and when one rink was down, the other rinks covered.
“The secret, apart from having a lot of talented players, is that we really work as a unit, rather than just individuals or individual rinks,” Law said.
There were no blowout results in today’s Division 1 finals, with the defending champs pushed to the wire by Bundaberg in Round 1, 65-59, before securing a less-dangerous 17-shot win over Brisbane North, 72-55.
Technically Brisbane North and Sunshine Coast were still in the hunt heading into the third and final round, but they needed Gold Coast to lose.
Instead the Goldie boys capped off their campaign with a crunchingly-close 68-67 defeat of their hosts.
It was a tough loss for the Sunny Coast men, who were chasing their first title since 1997, while also trying to defend their home turf…although Sunshine Coast second Paul Hendricks believes the “home advantage” was actually more of a hindrance than a help.
‘Personally I’d rather play on the Gold Coast every year,” Hendricks said.
“I think when you’re away, you get to bond better as a team. and that can help your performance on the green.”
Not that Henricks, owner of popular Sunshine Coast bowls shop Bowlers Paradise, was making excuses.
“Every year it’s the same, we get to Division 1, but we just can’t make it the whole way.
“We need to improve, whether that is by some guys getting a bit better, or by bringing in some new talent, I’m not sure, but we need to improve if we want to win,” he said.
For Law, it’s not all about winning (easy to say when you’ve won 11 of the last 15!).
“District Sides is a fantastic competition, probably the best bowls competition in Queensland,” he said.
“I’ve been playing for 25-30 years now and I love coming back every year.
“It’s about the camaraderie and meeting up with people from other districts that you only see at this time of year…it’s still nice to win though!”
Brisbane North finished the comp in second place in 2015, and they have been the only other Side to win the trophy (apart from Gold Coast) since 2002 (four times).
As former Gold Coast District star Brett Wilkie put it, “bowls was the winner here today”…(we can hear a career in politics beckoning!)
Click here for full results from all divisions.
With the Sides now done and dusted, many of the stars will turn their attention to Queensland’s 10-day State Championships, which kick off on the Sunshine Coast on Friday (May 8-18).
Click here for more information on the 2015 State Championships.