Bester chasing title No. 2
Fresh from his State Singles win, Canadian ace Ryan Bester has set his sights on Queensland’s Fours title. Pic: Damien McGee’s North West boys (green and gold) from Cloncurry and Mt Isa bowls clubs played skip Michael Brown’s boys, Anthony James, Brett Davis and Michael Bannah, in sectionals at Tewantin Noosa.
Broadbeach master-blaster Ryan Bester is just three wins away from a second Queensland title at this year’s State Championships on the Sunshine Coast.
Less than 24-hours after successfully defending his 2014 Singles crown at Tewantin Noosa Bowls Club, Bester was back in action in today’s men’s Fours competition.
The Canadian Commonwealth Games star skipped a crack support crew of Mark Thatcher, Sean Ingham and Paul Girdler to the top of Section 1, setting up a do-or-die clash with Windsor skip Daniel Keogh’s four – Geoff Jensen, David Keogh and Alan Brown – in tomorrow’s quarter-finals (kick-off 8.45am at Tewantin Noosa Bowls Club).
Bester, who beat teammate Ingham on Sunday for the back-to-back Singles title, picked up a win and a draw en route to the quarters.
Eric Copeland’s experienced outfit of Paul O’Brien, Scott DeJongh and Clinton Bailey went down in Round 1, 19-13.
But Bester’s boys were battled to a standstill after lunch, unable to get past Alan Thorp’s outfit (John Howarth, John Dann and Bruce Hill) 13-13.
With the team’s all square on one win apiece, it went to margins, with Bester edging past Thorp on shots to reach the knock-out rounds.
Bester, who lifted the Fours crown back in 2012, (playing alongside Paul O’Brien, Ben Savva and Jamie Smith), was one of three champion skips in this year’s draw.
Defending Fours champ Sean Baker and 2013 winning skip Des Cann Jr were also chasing glory on the Sunshine Coast, but neither skip survived sectionals.
Baker’s all-star side of Aaron Hewson, Jamie Anderson and Robbie Wild fell victim to Troy Somerville in Section 7.
Somerville’s team of John Thain, Jason Thomas and Fred Diamond snuck a three-shot win past Baker’s boy in Round 1, 16-13.
And things didn’t get any better for Baker after the break, with gun Lifestream bowler Nathan Appleton (Jim Williams, Devon Slater and Nathan Wilson) claiming the upset of the day, beating the Queensland and Aussie rep 15-14.
Appleton’s rink was the most animated playing at Mooloolaba, with young Nathan Wilson,18, from Pine Rivers, stepping up for Appleton and keeping up the energy, providing great feedback and calling in Appleton’s shots, and Appleton doing what he does best, shining as a bowls master-craftsman, even against a fabulous bowler like Sean Baker.
Big Devon Slater from Kawana and Jim Williams rounded off the Appleton rink and they’ll be thrilled to go through.
Des Cann and co (Scott Lapthorne, Paul Vardy and Jay Cross) suffered a devastating loss in the morning’s campaign opener.
Dave Gardiner’s side (Ron Lewis, Darren Redman, David Balchin) inflicted an eye-watering 25-8 defeat on the 2013 champions.
Cann bounced back with a big win of his own, beating Jamie Bartle’s boys (Daniel Reithmuller, Greg Cleary, Geoff Brown) 22-8.
But big margins weren’t enough for either team, with Jack Horne’s golden oldies (Gordon Williams, Bob Dobinson and Ken Luck) going through undefeated to take out Section 5.
Also through to tomorrow’s quarters is Nev Wood-Bradley’s side of Bob Minty, Alan Thurlow and Robert Ayres.
A former Bowls Qld development officer, Wood-Bradley skipped his boys to two wins and a draw to top Section 3.
2013 Triples champion Wayne Masters is through to knockout rounds after guiding John Rafton, Nick George and Darren Maddrell to the top of Section 4.
Masters had a tough section, up against Nev Jenkins, Adam White and Peter Hughes-skipped sides.(South Tweed’s Jenkins teamed up with Lindsay Ponting, Kerry Flint and Nigel Smith, Helensvale’s White with Chris Reilly, son Shane White, and Rohan Wilson, and Hughes with Danny Mitchell, Brian Slatter and Ken Laverty.)
But holding Jenkins to a draw in Round 1, 13-13, gave the Masters’ boys confidence and they went to take out the section and set up a quarter-final clash with Wood-Bradley.
Michael Keegan, Wade Mutzelburg, Joel Andersen and Lee Fitzhenry secured the Section 6 berth, while Steve Halmai skipped another star-studded team (Peter Leon, Richard Strawbridge, Kurt Brown) to the pointy end in Section 8.
Halmai side are well experienced at high-pressure bowls and may well be the dark horses for this year’s title.
The 2015 men’s Fours post sectionals get underway at Tewantin Noosa Bowls Cub at 8.45am tomorrow. Semi-finals and final and will be played on Wednesday (8.45am).
Click here for information on this year’s state championships, including venues, draws, up-to-date results, etc.