All hail Queen Kiani

by admin on May 13, 2015

Women’s Singles finals day at Tewantin Noosa was tense and exciting, with Kiani Andersen finally getting her big title, she’s been knocking at the door, runner up is Julie Keegan. Pic: From left, Queensland Women’s Singles runner up Julie Keegan, Bowls Queensland chairman John Dawson, and 2015 State Women’s Singles Champ Kiani Andersen.
“It’s crazy, I’ve been so close so many times, and now I’ve been able to step over the line,” Queensland’s newest Women’s Singles champ Kiani Andersen said.
The young Kawana mum has worked tirelessly to win a big one, and she did it today, a 25-16 dismantling of one of the big names of women’s bowls, Kawana club mate and mentor Julie Keegan.
Queensland’s newest title-holder reckons she was lucky to even get through to the final…
On the first day, she lost to Broadbeach skip Sue McKenzie 21-12, but managed to squeak through on margins and win the section by just one shot.
In post sectionals, she was behind to Helensvale and Queensland star Yvonne Lovelock 10-20, but managed to come back and win 25-20.
Then Mareeba’s Sue Brady had her on the ropes in the quarters, she was down 6-19, but came back and won, 25-21.
Women’s Singles Finals Day (Wed May 13)

Even the semi was close, Kiani won by just two shots, 25-23, in a torrid see-sawing game against fellow Kawana “young gun” Connie-Leigh Rixon.
Connie-Leigh got stuck on the 28th end, when she was two shots ahead of Kiani, 21-19.
There Connie-Leigh stayed for the next four ends, as Kiani picked up mostly singles, to rise to within striking distance of the magic 25, 24-21 to Kiani after 32 ends.
Would the 33rd end be the girls’ last?
No, Connie Leigh fought back, picking up two shots to take her also within striking distance, 23-24.
The frantic dance ended on the 34th, and it was Kiani who hip-hopped into the final, 25-23.
In the other semi, Keegan made short sharp work of Bramble Bay’s Ester Regan, 25-4, in 17 ends.
The stage was set for a mighty showdown, the maestra with state, national and international titles galore to her name, or the girl who always seemed to just miss out on the payday… Would Kiani break the finals hex?
The final – Kiani V Julie

It’s not like Julie Keegan didn’t try to win, a champion of her status never loses the hunger to win, but it was a golden day for Kiani.
She arrived at the final through a series of fortunate breaks, and it “was time” for Kiani to take a big title, after many bridesmaid results at major tournaments.
(Two years ago, Kiani lost the 2012 State Women’s Singles final at Broadbeach, when Deception Bay’s Helen Annan came through with a once in a lifetime shot to nab the title, after Kiani had set herself up to perfection.)
State finals are almost always intense affairs and it was no exception this year, two Kawana girls, one of the biggest name bowlers in the women’s game, still with fire in her belly, and the other a “next-gen” up-and-comer, still trying to break into the big time.
Kiani’s underdog status played on Julie’s mind a little (all the big bowlers know that feeling, when the crowd wants the up and comer or “the young one” to beat the champ.)
But regardless of the mind-games, Kiani’s bowls teamed down the green with a jack sonar, allowing her to break away 7-3.

Julie came back, 6-7, and it was tight for a while, but then the numbers started cascading Kiani’s way.
She was up 13-10, then 16-10, and when the marker showed four shots against Julie on the next end, it looked like it was all over, the score now 20-10 to Kiani.
Julie came back with a few singles, 13-20, but Kiani answered with three shots in a single end, to put herself within striking distance of the Singles crown, 23-13.
Julie answered by taking a three-shots for herself, rising to 16-23, and throats started to seize…

Would the maestra muster all her steel and over-take the girl-most-likely, just as Helen Annan did two years previously?
It didn’t happen, not this time, and it was a very emotional finish.

Kiani went to 24-16, and then 25-16, shocked and delighted to finally have broken the curse, and proved she had the ticker to go all the way.
Julie Keegan wanted that win too, and went through the range of emotions, gutted for herself, pleased for her friend.

“She works for me, I’ll have to sack her!” she joked.
 “If I had to lose to someone, I’m glad it was Kiani, someone from our club.

“I’m very happy for her, she has a huge future, she’s destined to play for Australia, she has a good head on her shoulders.” 
Keegan and Andersen will join forces tomorrow (Thurs May 14) to try for a Triples title at State Champs, teaming up with Noelene Dutton also from Kawana.
They will team up with each other in the Pairs. (Pairs start Sat May16, finals Mon May 18.)