Sunny Coast claims rare double

by admin on October 19, 2015

Kawana’s Mutzleburg & Andersen and Coolum Beach’s Clayton & Balchin win 2015 State Champ of Club Champs PAIRS. Coolum Beach’s Marilyn Clayton has skipped her first Champion of Club Champions state title, with great mate Brenda Balchin.
“It feels fantastic, absolutely fabulous,” Clayton said.
“And I didn’t have to do a thing, because my super-skip here did it all for me,” Balchin said, giving Clayton a huge hug.
“The Cougars are back!”
(Clayton, Balchin, and former Coolum clubmates Louise Witton and Liza Burgess won 2012 Ladies Team Challenge as the Coolum Cougars. Witton and Burgess moved on to Club Kawana for a spell but the new State Champ of Club Champs PAIRS say their missing partners in crime will soon be back at Club Coolum, and the Cougars will reunite.)
Clayton will play lead for her World No 6 daughter Kelsey Cottrell in NZ Open PAIRS in December.
“It’s an honour to be asked by Kelsey to play with her in the Pairs, she’s also putting a team together to play in the Fours and I’ll be part of that too,” Clayton said.
“It’s also amazing to win this state title as a skip, I’m normally No 3 in a four.
“We got so much support from our club, a whole bus load of Coolum supporters came down yesterday to cheer us on, it was fantastic!”
Clayton said the only disappointment was not being able to go on to play for a national title.
“I think Bowls Australia should fix this, it doesn’t matter if World Bowls doesn’t hold a pairs event, we’d like to play off against the other states for a national title,” Clayton said.
“It’s like an anti-climax, where do we go from here, trying for a national title in PAIRS is just as important as in SINGLES, how about it, Bowls Australia?”
The other state finalists agreed, especially 2015 State Champion of Club Champion MEN’S PAIRS runners up Bargara.
“Bundaberg District has been in the last three state pairs finals (all former Tantitha players),” Bargara lead Keith Bayntun’s wife Sharyn said.
“In 2013, Steve McNamee and Jason Andrewartha won for Queensland and won the national title, for Tantitha, Bundaberg.
“In 2014, Daniel Stanton-Cook and Darren McNamee won for Queensland for Across the Waves, Bundaberg, but they didn’t get a chance to go back to back for Bundaberg with a national title because Bowls Australia changed the system, it was very disappointing.”
“In 2015, we didn’t win the state title for our district, but we made the state final, and along the way, we beat Steve McNamee and Jason Andrewartha at district level, so we’re very happy with how far we’ve come, it wasn’t expected,” Keith Bayntun said.
The state runners up have known eachother through bowls for 20 years, but their pairing in this year’s event was by chance.
Lead Bayntun was going to team up with Bundy skip John See but when See decided to team up with an old mate from the Gold Coast, Bayntun brought Charteris into the mix.
“Good decision, very happy,” Bayntun said.
The runners up couldn’t say enough about the sportsmanship of the winning Kawana team.
“Unfortunately we gave them too much of a head start, it’s always easier to keep a lead than to play catch up, but they were really good to play with, the best guys we played all weekend, and we played some good teams with good sportsmanship,” skip Charteris said.
“One of the boys from Mt Isa we played earlier stayed behind to cheer us on, I heard him saying “C’mon Greg!”, that was great.”
For winning Kawana skip Joel Andersen, 19, it’s his first state title in the Open division.
The former junior star has a bright future in bowls, however unfortunately Queensland is about to lose his services, as he goes south to join powerhouse NSW club Cabramatta later this month.
“Hopefully I’ll get a job around the club and I’ll be able to concentrate on my bowls, it’s very exciting,” Andersen said.
But first he has tomorrow’s 2015 Champion of Club Champion’s SINGLES state final to contest for Kawana, Sunshine Coast district, and Group 5.
(Joel and his elder sister Kiani will both play in tomorrow’s singles, same family, same club, same district, same group and both going through to the state final, a first for Queensland.)
Joel’s lead for the Pairs win was Wade Mutzleburg, 27, an accountant by day “today bowls, tomorrow tax returns”, but he’s pretty happy the day off work was well worth it, with a state title to show for his efforts.
By popular agreement, Mutzleburg was the most consistent in today’s men’s final, despite not starting bowls until the age of 19, the same age as his skip (Andersen) now.
“It feels fantastic to win the state final,” Mutzleburg said.
“It was such a good, positive atmosphere out there, we really enjoyed ourselves, and magical things happen when you enjoy yourself..!”
Women’s runners up Wendy Jones and Christine Robinson from Townsville Suburban were in the game until the end.
With Wendy rushing to catch a plane, the chance to chat was limited, but skip Christine was a force to be reckoned with on the greens at Club Helensvale, a whiz at converting a tight head, her skill failing her only at the end in today’s state final.
Coolum Beach managed to take four on the second last end, breaking a 17-17 deadlock at 19 ends.
Christine managed to convert the final head (21st end) with her final bowl, but for only a single, giving a relieved Coolum Beach the title by three shots, 21-18, Coolum peaking at exactly the right time.
For how the games played out, see Bowls Queensland’s facebook page (click here)
For 2015 Champion of Club Champion results for fours and pairs, see Bowls Queensland website EVENTS (click here)
The final discipline of 2015 Champion of Club Champions, the SINGLES, will be played out tomorrow (Rounds 1 and 2) and Thursday (Round 3 and Final) at Club Helensvale.

It’s a grueling process to win a champion of club champions state title, a dozen games over 10 months, and you have to be “on” each time you take to the green, because the elimination process is cut-throat.