Tough day at the office
The QLD men’s side managed to stay in the running for the title but the women’s side will miss out, against a tough NSW side. (Pictured left: The Queensland team for the 2017 QLD v NSW Test Series side at Club Kawana.)
The first day of one of the most fiercely contested competitions on the BQ calendar is over with mixed results for the Maroons at the Queensland v New South Wales Test Series at Club Kawana (Jan 16-17).
The two-day competition has already provided plenty of thrills for the enthuiastic crowd of around 300, with the QLD men’s team keeping their chances alive (one test each, decider tomorrow), but the QLD women now out of contention, losing two tests to the Blues today.
Queensland succombed to the Blues in the first test losing all but one rink, with skip Lynsey Clarke saving Maroons pride along with team-mates Emma Brown, Louise Witton and Chloe Stewart.
“It was our first time as a side of 12, we have four new girls on our side and we were playing against probably the best team side in the country, who have been together for years,” Clarke said.
“I think we could have finished it off a little bit better, since we held them off pretty well until the final few ends.”
The NSW team was rolling consistently and despite being level on the 19th end on 20-20, Julie Keegan’s rink was unable to put a stop to the Blues rink skipped by veteran Natasha Scott, which pulled away in the final two ends to claim a 26-20 win.
Sharing the same fate as Keegan, QLD skip Bolivia Millerick struggled to hold back an eager NSW team who always seemed to get back in front after QLD had taken the lead, and consequently NSW finished seven shots ahead, 22-15.
It was a tough first test for the Queensland men’s team as they tried to keep the ‘Wal Currey Shield’ at home, but went down on all three rinks.
Skip Sean Baker went down 13-17 to NSW’s David Ferguson’s crack team, Rice went down 15-25 to Aron Sherriff and Kawana’s own Kurt Brown fell victim to Wayne Turley whose team managed to snatch a big 17-29 win over the Queenslanders.
Things started to improve in the Second Test of the series with Queensland looking a lot more confident, Men’s team manager Greg Bostock said the side was “fired up” and keen to even the score.
“We experienced the same thing as we did in the first round in Cabramatta last year and we still won against NSW,” Bostock said.
“In defence of New South Wales they have played some really good bowls today, I think there were some (QLD) nerves in the first game, but we have played a lot more confidently in the Second Test and the débutantes have been playing really really well.”
The QLD men’s team was able to turn the tide on the Blues in the Second Test with Nathan Rice’s team dealing the opposing side skipped by Turley a huge blow, winning by a whopping 31-15 which kept the QLD boys in the running for Series.
“It’s going to be a big game tomorrow, but we’re still in it and I think we can do it if we keep pushing,” Rice said.
“The new young boys (Nelson and Christie) really helped us take the pressure off the other rinks and I’m really pleased with how they played today.”
Local boy Kurt Brown also helped even the odds with his rink’s 21-20 win over the visitors, which took the pressure off Sean Baker’s rink, which finished the Second Test four shots down after an 11-15 defeat by heavy-weight Aron Sherriff’s team.
Despite improving in the Second Test, the QLD women’s side was unable to outdo a persistent New South Wales side, who took their second win of the series by defeating Julie Keegan’s rink by one shot 19-18 and skip Millerick’s rink, 20-14.
Helenvale’s Lynsey Clarke helped fly the flag for Queensland, remaining undefeated on day one of the test series after taking her second win of the day against Kelsey Cottrell in a 15-12 victory.
To check out today’s results and keep up-to-date with the tomorrow’s results follow the Bowls Queensland Facebook page available here.