Plenty of close matches but Queensland lacked the consistency to out-class the rest at Aussie Sides (Mar 31 – April 3). Australia’s top bowlers battled it out for team supremacy at the Australian Sides Championships 2016, hosted by Bowls ACT, and held over four days at Queanbeyan Bowls Club and Queanbeyan RSL Memorial Bowls Club (March 31 – April 3).
Unfortunately for Queensland, the dream to go “one better” than last year didn’t turn into reality.
(Last year Queensland women steamed through at the end into the Silver medal and the men were unlucky to be pushed back into third place, just out of the medals, in the final stages.)
This year’s Maroons hit plenty of sweet spots and lost key matches by only a few shots, but narrow losses meant narrow wins for others, and that’s where the medals went.
State coach Bill Cornehls, who was also called up to play when a team mate had a medical emergency, said Queensland’s Sides didn’t show enough consistency against the other high performance units from around Australia.
Queensland finished 5th behind Alley Shield winners Victoria, 2nd NSW, 3rd ACT, 4th TAS, 5th QLD, 6th WA, 7th NT.
Queensland men had three wins and four losses, defeating ACT 59-57, TAS 66-5, NT 71-4, while losing to NSW 61-65, SA 51-55, WA 52-68 (third round) and VIC 53-67 (opening round).
Victoria’s Matt Flapper finished on top of the skip’s ladder, followed by QLD’s Mark Casey and VIC’s Aaron Wilson, with QLD’s Kurt Brown rounding out the Top 10 (No 10).
Queensland women finished fourth this year with two wins and four losses, behind Marj Morris Trophy winners a record five times in a row, New South Wales.
Queensland won against SA 60-57 and TAS 67-48; there were two key and heart breaking losses to arch rivals NSW 62-67 and WA 51-53, with the margins looser against VIC 46-73 (opening round) and ACT 46-57.
The ladder at the end of Round 7 was NSW (18 points, 12.5 rinks), 2nd Western Australia (15, 10.5), 3rd Victoria (9,12.5), 4th Queensland (6, 9), 5th South Australia (6, 8.5), 6th ACT (6, 4), and 7th Tasmania (3, 6).
On the women’s skip’s ladder, NSW’s Karen Murphy finished on top, with QLD’s Louise Witton and Lynsey Clarke rounding out the Top 10 skips of the tournament (No 9 & 10 respectively), and QLD’s Julie Keegan finishing in 11th spot.
Queensland placed 5th overall among Australia’s states and territories, definitely not where the state wanted to be, not bowling at 100 per cent consistently enough against others who could kept up the run rate better.
Overall Best State Ladder: 1. NSW (33 points, 30 rinks), 2. Victoria (30, 27.5), 3. South Australia (21, 20), 4. Western Australia (21, 19.5), 5. Queensland (15, 20), 6. Tasmania (15, 15), 7. ACT (12,12), 8. Northern Territory (0, 3).