Rivals team up
They usually play against eachother so it was a great thrill for both internationals to play together and win State Men’s Pairs GOLD – Brett Wilkie & Ryan Bester
State Men’s Pairs SILVER – Nic Gosley & Dean McWhinney
TIE-THIRD (semi finalists)
Steve Halmai (Tweed Heads) and Kurt Brown (Kawana)
Gary Pearson and Ian Law (Burleigh Heads)
You’d think on paper it would be a lay down misere for Brett Wilkie and Ryan Bester, on the same side for a change, to win a state title.
And in fact they did win, but two young guns, Nic Gosley and Dean McWhinney gave them a good hard run for their money.
The final two ends of the State Men’s Pairs final 2016 was thrilling, if the first half was not.
“What a comeback from so far behind against a great like Ryan Bester, and Brett Wilkie, you don’t see that too often,” said proud mum Jackie McWhinney.
In fact, the Wilkie-Bester combo proved as successful as you’d expect, the two internationals up 19-7 after 13 ends.
With only the last third to turn things around, Gosley and McWhinney showed what they could do, winning the next three ends with multiples, to close the gap to just five shots behind, 14-19.
Still it was a reasonably comfortable place for Wilkie and Bester, knowing they can pull out big shots when needed, and in fact, they improved their position to 21-14.
With just three ends to go, the young guns were not going down without a fight, storming home with a multiple of three on two consecutive ends, to be down just one shot 20-21, going into the final end.
Gosley and McWhinney could have levelled the score on the final end, but they didn’t…
That’s bowls, a wick the wrong way and a Wilkie bowl held shot for the icing on the cake, 22-20, a state men’s pairs title to Brett Wilkie and Ryan Bester, silver to Nic Gosley and Dean McWhinney.
“It’s always a privilege to win a State title, it’s always a hard fought competition,” Wilkie said.
“It’s great to play with Brett rather than against him,” Bester said.
“We’ve been good friends for a long time and we’ve always said “One day we’ll have to have a game together” and in fact it was after last year’s State Championships we lined it up, so we’ve spent a whole year looking forward to it.”
It was Wilkie’s first State Title this year, Bester’s second (Singles, Pairs), and McWhinney won Triples with dad Graeme Shillington and Irish international Shane Leonard from Bramble Bay.