Bolivia Millerick’s awesome foursome of great mates, featuring sister Cass and dear friends and mentors Karen Goldsworthy and Lynn Long, are looking for a hat-trick of wins in this year’s State Fours comp. Queensland’s 2015 State Championships exploded into life today, with glory-hunters going head-to-head in men’s Singles and women’s Fours at clubs across the Sunshine Coast.
Along with District Sides (completed Wednesday), State Championships is a marquee event on Queensland’s bowling calendar, with players of all abilities battling it out for the ultimate accolades.
This year’s women’s fours comp is jam-packed with bowling talent, with a host of state and national stars peppered throughout the draw.
Among the big names competing at Tewantin Noosa, Coolum and Caloundra bowls clubs today were Lynsey Clarke, Maria Rigby, Tracy Foster, Yvonne and Rosie Lovelock, Bolivia Millerick, Natasha Jones, Pam Rowe, Julie Keegan, Ester Regan, Maree Gibbs, Gail Waitai, Kristy Thatcher, Louise Witton, and the list goes on and on…
But when the dust settled on Day 1, only a handful of those big names remained, most notably skips Bolivia Millerick and Lynsey Clarke.
Between them, this duo have master-crafted five of the last seven winning sides.
Millerick, alongside twin sister Cassandra and teammates Lyn Long and Karen Goldsworthy, is chasing a hat-trick in 2015.
The foursome started playing together at Burnett Bowls Club about six years ago, when the twins were somewhere between 14 and 15 (they’re now 21).
The girls have gone their own ways since those days, with the Millericks moving to Caloundra, Long to Pialba, while Goldsworthy calls Cleveland home these days, but they’ve always stayed in touch.
With distance obviously no obstacle for practise for this foursome, the girls came together to capture the 2013 and 2014 state fours titles.
“It’s unreal, wonderful, we’re so proud of the girls,” Goldsworthy said today.
“And they’re still looking after us old girls,” said Long, “I’m waiting to get the boot…”
“No way!” Bolivia said.
The Millerick foursome will have their work cut out to take the hat-trick though, with Jackaroos skip Clarke set on claiming her fifth state fours crown.
Clarke lifted her first state fours trophy back in 2006, playing second for former Welsh and Australian international CeriAnn Davies.
She collected title No. 2 in 2008, when she skipped 2006 teammates Kelsey Cottrell and Julie Keegan to victory, with the help of Helensvale club mate Brenda Thompson.
Clarke skipped Thompson to the title again in 2010, this time combining with Yvonne Lovelock and Sue McKenzie.
She’s back with Lovelock in 2015, and they’re joined by Lovelock’s sister Rosie and Natasha Jones.
The foursome, all playing out of Club Helensvale and all Queensland gun reps, will be a difficult outfit to beat.
There’ll be plenty of challengers though, with current and former state reps Amanda Heavecker, Gail Waitai, Tracy Foster,
Christina Pavlov and Louise Witton guiding their respective sides through sectionals and into tomorrow’s knock-out rounds at Tewantin Noosa and Coolum Beach (8.45am).
The women’s fours semi-finals kick off at Tewantin Noosa on Sunday, 8.45am, and will be followed by the final.
There were few upsets in the opening rounds of men’s singles, with former champs Sean Baker (2008), Jamie Anderson (2010) and Ryan Bester (2014) progressing to tomorrow’s post-sectional Round of 32.
Other big names including Sean Ingham, Steve Halmai, Frank Vella, Dean McWhinney and Braidan Leese are also through to the knockout rounds.
Halmai probably suffered the biggest upset of the day, with the indoor specialist going down to Brisbane teen Bryce Litfin in Round 2, 21-11.
But wins over Danny Crameri, 21-9, and Richard Strawbridge 21-13, saw him through to post sectionals.
While not a major upset, Alex Murtagh won’t have been pleased to have dropped his singles opener to young gun Leese, 21-12.
Murtagh’s fortunes didn’t improve as the day progressed, with Tweed Heads bowls chief Paul Girdler handing the Pine Rivers rep his second loss of the day, 21-19.
Kurt Brown was the only shock exit, the defending triples champ bundled out by Geoff Brown in Round 3, 21-13.
Men’s singles port-sectionals will play out tomorrow at Tewantin Noosa Bowls Club, commencing 8.45am, followed by the semi-finals and final on Sunday.
Click here for more info on the 2015 State Championships, including schedule, draws, and updated results.