Back to Back
“Good communication” the key to second consecutive AO Women’s Pairs win for Noelene Dutton and Emma Brown; Jackie McWhinney Shillington and Maria Rigby take silver. Kawana’s Noelene Dutton has a great use for her share of the Australian Open 2015 Women’s Pairs winner’s cheque ($15,000).
“My daughter (Brittany, aged 17) is competing in Chicago in September in the World Junior Triathlon championships (she won a Youth Olympics gold medal last year), now I’ll be able to go and watch her compete,” the proud mum said.
Noelene is used to being in the shadow of her high achieving sports mad kids, but now it’s truly her turn to shine.
Along with her club mate and house mate Emma Brown, the two have “done the double” and made history by being the only women’s pair in the history of the Australian Open to go “back to back”, win two consecutive women’s pairs titles.
Emma Brown isn’t sure what she’ll do with her share of the prizemoney, but she’s also thinking “a little trip” might be nice, and apart from that, “shoes, handbags…” (and of course, the mortgage…)
“My parents (Trish and Dave) and my brother Jesse came down from Cairns for the day, I really wanted to win it for them” Emma said.
Silver medallists Jackie McWhinney-Shillington and Maria Rigby put up a good fight, the match see-sawed, the defending champs winning 14-11.
Like Noelene, runner up Australian champ Jackie is also one of those mums used to supporting from the sidelines, as her kids and husband shine.
(Eldest son Dean was AO 2015 silver medallist in the Men’s Fours in Paul Girdler’s rink; youngest son Dale, 16, will play his first test for Queensland Juniors against NSW next week.)
“I’m not used to being in the spotlight, I just like to watch my kids play, my hands are trembling,” Jackie said, as she was “mic’d up” by Fox Sports for the LIVE TV coverage.
But the busy greenkeeper can also play fine bowls in her own right, as she demonstrated today, with Maria Rigby playing as well as she always does.
The match could have gone either way – but Brown and Dutton were better on the day.
The two Kawana girls have improved since last year’s Open win because they’re both good at listening and actioning what they hear, from Kawana club coach Ian Schuback OAM and assistant coach Julie Keegan, then there is also NTC coach Brett Wilkie, and their bowls needed to be artful and impeccable against a formidable skip like Rigby.