Finally… State Champ Anthony Williams
“My shoulders are so sore…” said sister Nicole, as she “carries” her brother to his first state title in the District Mixed Pairs. By Naomi Cescotto
Anthony Williams has been runner up in a state final FIVE TIMES in recent years but he felt his luck might be about to change when he and sister Nicole made it into the 2016 State Final of the District Mixed Pairs.
With a field full of new combinations, Anthony felt it was now or never.
“I just wanted to win a state title before I got too old!” the 32-year-old dad to four kids said.
(“What about us?” silver medal skip Bev Hadley from Broadbeach said, “We’d like to win a state title before we DIE!!!” “Well yes, I might not be far off,” Bev’s lead Roger Goodridge said, looking no where near his 78 years!)
Anthony and Nicole have won their club mixed pairs title for the past three consecutive years at Maryborough Services Memorial and this year, managed to win the Fraser Coast District & Wide Bay/Gympie District playoffs, and beat the powerful Sunshine Coast in the Group 5 final to get their chance.
“Nicole played well for a change..!” Anthony lobbed the first sibling serve.
“We used to fight a lot on the green but once we stopped fighting, we started to win,” Nicole said.
In the State Final at Enoggera (Oct 15-16), the Williams duo started off hard against Downs District pair Lorraine Callaghan and Calum Brownie from West Toowoomba, 25-16 in Round 1, followed by a second win in Round 2 against Bundaberg District pair Gail Crompton and Nick Cahill from Bargara, 25-18, to finish Day One on top of the Section 1 ladder.
They certainly didn’t take their foot off the pedal on Day Two, acing Round 3 against Caboolture District’s Kim Mogler and Chris Jenkins from Solander Lakes, 25-6.
Meanwhile in Section 2, Broadbeach duo Goodridge and Hadley also had a brilliant opening day, topping their ladder undefeated, against Leichhardt’s Jules Johnson and John Henman from Emerald 17-13 in Round 1, and Chris Robinson and David Whiting from Suburban Townsville 26-14 in Round 2.
Day Two and Hadley clinched another win, but it was harder work this time against Gateway District’s Robyn Tyson and Terry Newman from Manly Bowls Club, 22-20.
Just in time for the gold medal play-off, the wind whipped up across the greens at Enoggera Bowls Club and both Williams siblings coped with it better than the Goodridge/Hadley combo.
It was neck and neck for the first half of the game, Williams 11 – Hadley 8 after 10 ends, but heartbreak for the engaging Broadbeach pair on the 11th and 12th, multiples of four and six putting a smile on Williams face, 21-8.
Seven more ends were played, but without much joy for Goodridge and Hadley, gold medal to Williams 28-13, silver medal to Goodridge/Hadley.
“Nicole was the player of the day,” Hadley said of the gold medal lead, “And Anthony was the second best, they deserved their win.”
“I saw how well they played yesterday and I knew we were in for a game in the final,” Anthony said.
The Maryborough skip didn’t get a chance to unleash many of his lethal drives in the final (the only one he tried cleared his own bowls out, giving the opposition the end).
“My shoulders are so sore…” Nicole teased… (she had to carry him…)
“It’s been my best year on the green.”
It’s actually Nicole’s second state title but her first open title – 14 years ago she won the Junior Pairs state title with her twin sister Fiona.
So a quick photo of the gold, silver and bronze medalists together from the State Final of District Mixed Pairs and the no-nonsense Williams duo packed up the car and headed back to Maryborough for work tomorrow.
The Bronze medal play off was won by Bargara’s Gail Crompton and Nick Cahill (aged just 14), against Suburban Townsville’s Chris Robinson and David Whiting, 22-11.