State Triples Thriller
The men and women’s triples finals provided plenty of thrilling moments over two tough days of bowling but there could only ever be one winner for each state title. (Pictured left: Newly crowned State Triples title holders skip Melissa Larcombe and teammates Ann-Maree Peart and Kristy Thatcher at Tweed Heads Bowls Club.)
It was an emotional finish to the women’s triples with skip Melissa Larcombe having to hold back her tears while making a speech on behalf of her fellow teammates after an incredibly tight 20-19 win in the final of the 2017 State Championships Triples Competition (May 8-21).
In the end, all three were pleased to have been able to lift the title after a tough two days of bowling at Tweed Heads Bowls Club (May 11-12) after defeating skip Christina Pavlov, Anne McClure and Maree Gibbs on the final hurdle.
“It means a lot for me to win with these girls who played so well throughout the competition,” Larcombe said.
“I just wanted to play as best as I could for them after yesterday where I felt I let the girls down as I was really tired from the District sides and then the mixed pairs.
“All I wanted to do was play well for them today and I’m very happy with the result.”
Larcombe’s team consisting of Ann-Maree Peart and Kristy Thatcher had to fight for every end in the last half of a final dogged by rain against the opposition.
It looked as if Larcombe and her girls were going to take the game by storm after the first 10 ends but Pavlov was able to rein Larcombe back in with her team in damage control mode and retaking decisive ends to bring them to 20-17 on the 23rd end with only two left to be played.
“They got away from us early but we were able to come right back and start to close them down towards the end,” Pavlov said.
Unfortunately for Pavlov, they were only able to grab two shots over the last two ends to leaving them just one shot behind the opposition at the final score of 20-19.
Despite coming second Christina said she thoroughly enjoyed the competition and thought it was played with the spirit of great sportsmanship by both teams.
“It would have been nice to win but it was a cracking game and we gave it our best shot,” Pavlov said.
“The other girls played awesome bowls and it was very hard to match them but it was so close it could have been won by anyone in the end.”
In the men’s final the scoreboard told a different story to the women’s after Canada’s Ryan Bester along with Scottish bowler Kevin Anderson and Aussie Sean Ingham claimed the men’s Triples title in a big 28-17 win against opposition skip Kurt Brown.
All three were over the moon to have taken out this year’s title which was the first state title for Anderson and notched up Ingham’s overall state triples title tally to two after his last win in 2011.
“We’re stoked with the result especially up against such a good side in the final and a tough day yesterday in the sectional play,” Ingham said.
“I think our camaraderie helped get us through as we are all great mates and work together and enjoy going out together for a few beers too, so I think that’s what helped us in the business end of the final.”
The early stages of the final game showed no indication of either team being the dominant force in the game until Bester’s rink were able to pull six shots out of the bag on the ninth end to put them in the lead 13-7.
Brown’s rink was put on the back foot and had to try to catch up as the skilled Canadian and his Broadbeach boys continued to take multiples on each end, Brown was only able to claw back 10 shots and the game was called on the 24th end at 28-17.
Although he missed out on the title Kawana’s Kurt Brown insists it was still a great result for his team and credits his teammates Ian Schuback and Nick Cahill for his team’s great performance.
“Nicky was leading very well and Shoey is obviously amazing, a couple of things went against us but you know that’s just bowls,” Brown said.
Despite admitting they were outclassed by Bester’s team Brown says he remains impressed by the standard of bowling showed by Cahill.
“I won’t be bowling in six years’ time if Nicky is still bowling because no one will be able to beat him! He takes out all four junior state titles and then to get a runner-up in the open is just amazing at the age of 14.”
2017 State Championships Triples Title Winners:
Men’s title – Sean Ingham Kevin Anderson and Ryan Bester (s)
Runners up – Nick Cahill, Ian Schuback and Kurt Brown
Women’s title – Kristy Thatcher, Ann-Maree Peart and Melissa Larcombe (s)
Runners up – Anne McClure, Maree Gibbs and Christina Pavlov (s)
To see the full results and draw of the triples competition please head to the Bowls Queensland website available here.