On their way to Merimbula!
Nathan Rice and Lynsey Clarke skip the winning Fours at QLD State Champs, off to Australian Champs (Nov 27 – Dec 1). QLD STATE FOURS CHAMPIONS 2017 are:
WOMEN: Natasha Jones, Chloe Stewart, Julie Keegan, Lynsey Clarke (skip)
Final: Clarke def Pavlov 21-19, 21 ends.
MEN: Des Cann, Matt Lucas, Brett Wilkie, Nathan Rice (skip)
Final: Rice def Hawkens 24-9, 17 ends.
(Main photo, 2017 State Fours Champs Julie Keegan and Chloe Stewart (Broadbeach) and Hawks Natasha Jones, Lynsey Clarke, Des Cann, Nathan Rice, Matt Lucas, Brett Wilkie.)
State Silver medalists are:
WOMEN: Anne McClure, Sue McKenzie, Ann Russell, Chrissie Pavlov (skip)
MEN: John Bain, Nigel Smith, Geoff Hawkens, Nev Jenkins (skip).
Other semi finalists:
Ann-Maree Peart, Jessie Cottell, Kristy Thatcher, Melissa Larcombe (skip). Clarke def Larcombe 22-20
Michaela Bailey-Nelson, Kerrie Wilson, Emma Brown, Noelene Dutton (skip). Pavlov def Dutton 24-12
Nick Cahill, Richard Strawbridge, Ian Schuback, Kurt Brown (skip). Jenkins def Brown 19-18
Graeme Shillington, Gary Pearson, Dale McWhinney Shillington, Dean McWhinney (skip) Rice def McWhinney 24-11.
Photos and story from State Fours Finals Day by Naomi Cescotto for Bowls QLD
The standout games of the 2017 BQ State Fours finals series was the men’s semi final between Kurt Brown and Nev Jenkins (more than four hours in duration!) and the women’s final between Chrissie Pavlov and Lynsey Clarke (Chrissie started with a 10-shot lead and finished two shots behind).
The finals were played across sunshine and rain, with a loyal and enthusiastic group of supporters at Tweed Heads.
Men’s Semi – Jenkins 19 def Brown 18, 21 ends
“We played our final in the semi,” Jenkins second Nigel Smith said of the four hour marathon on the Tweed Head greens today. “We were out there for four hours and 15 minutes.”
It all came down to the last end.
Trailing Kurt Brown 16 – 18, Jenkins third Geoff Hawken sent down a delightful surprise, which plopped right on the jack.
It was up to master coach Ian Schuback to counter for Brown but surprisingly and unusually, this time he came up empty.
The skips stepped up to the mat and Jenkins also landed a pearler, snuggling in beside Hawken’s beauty.
If you were a betting person, would you bet for or against Kurt Brown answering with a drive? And doing it successfully?
The rink side pundits were surprised when Brown chose a gentler response, something between a draw shot and a drive… and he did it twice, going wide both times.
The unbelievable had happened, Nev Jenkins boys from South Tweed, aged 76 (Hawkeye), 68 (Nigel), 67 (Nev) and 58 (John Bain), had beaten the younger gun team and were going into the BQ State Fours Final against Nathan Rice.
“I knew I played the wrong shot,” Kurt Brown said, reflecting on the fact he had two chances to drive to save the game and although he has one of the best drives in the game, he chose a different path.
“We were always in the semi, we were never out of it, although you may not have thought we were going to win it either,” Jenkins said.
As for the finals series against Helensvale, when the South Tweed boys waved the white flag after the 17th end (down 9-24), they weren’t tired, just out-played.
“Of course it’s hard not to be a bit flat after a big game like the semi but the fact is, we were just outplayed, the Helensvale boys were outstanding all the way through, in the quarters, the semi and the final.”
It was John Bain from Coffs Harbour’s first time playing a State Championships in QLD and he has thoroughly enjoyed the move to South Tweed and leading for Jenkins in a state final and winning a silver medal on debut.
Men’s State Fours Champs 2017 – Des Cann, Matt Lucas, Brett Wilkie, Nathan Rice (skip)
The Helensvale boys, lead Des Cann, second Matt Lucas, third Brett Wilkie and skip Nathan Rice dominated the fours competition and the finals series.
“We had a tough section,” former Victorian Matt Lucas on debut at a QLD State Championships said. “We lost to the Swifts boys so we weren’t guaranteed to win the section.”
Matt runs Fred Fern Bowls Shop in Brisbane and feels he’s landed on his feet in QLD.
“I chose the right club!” Lucas said.
Des Cann has also seen his bowls improve since he made the switch to Club Helensvale 18 months ago.
“Mentally, that’s what’s made the difference,” he said, “We have fun!”
“We enjoy each other’s company” Brett Wilkie said.
Brett and Nathan Rice have played together since Brett coaxed Nathan from South Tweed to Helensvale in 2002.
They’ve won Commonwealth Games medals together and like nothing better than to team up with fellow Hawks for any competition.
“I think we were probably just standing around together and we said ok, let’s play State Fours,” Rice said.
“I enjoy the pressure of being skip, I might look cool and calm on the outside but I’m churning inside.
“But I’m in good hands with these boys.”
Cann, Lucas, Wilkie and Rice will be going to Merimbula in November (Nov 27 – Dec 1) to represent QLD at the BA Australian Championships, playing for national glory to see which state or territory has the best Four in 2017.
“That’s why we sacrificed ourselves,” Jenkins joked, “We thought they’d do a better job, representing QLD at Nationals…”
Lynsey Clarke had a tough semi against Melissa Larcombe, a great strike back by Larcombe’s girls on the final two ends narrowed the margin to two shots.
“We couldn’t have asked for more,” Larcombe said of the comeback from 15-22 down on the 19th end, to win three on the 20th (18-22) and two more on the 21st end (20-22).
In the other semi, Chrissie Pavlov’s girls looked like they had an easy win over Noelene Dutton 24 -12 but the score didn’t reflect the pressure or how tough the game was.
“It was a tough game,” Pavlov third Ann Russell said. “You pretty much carried us” she said to skip Pavlov.
“Well it’s your turn next time,” Pavlov joked. “The opposition played very well, the greens were tough, they’re much heavier than we’re used to playing.”
“We were getting back to draw bowls but they weren’t drawing,” Pavlov lead Anne McClure said of the semi.
Skip Noelene Dutton was disappointed with the result, only two shots behind on the 14th end (12-14) but she stayed on 12 for the next five ends as Pavlov, playing exceptional bowls, drove up the score by singles or doubles to 21-12, and finally 24-12.
Women’s State Fours Champs 2017 – Natasha Jones, Chloe Stewart, Julie Keegan, Lynsey Clarke (skip)
Silver medalists – Anne McClure, Sue McKenzie, Ann Russell, Chrissie Pavlov (skip)
The Women’s State Fours final was close and exciting with an especially thrilling start, Chrissie Pavlov’s girls up 10-0 after the first four ends.
But four ends later, the score was 10-10, Lynsey Clarke never losing focus or belief that things would come right.
The light drizzle ramped up to light steady rain and proved a slightly bigger challenge for the Pavlov team.
But the scorecard shows Pavlov more than held her own and it was shot for shot for shot, right until the end, 17-17 on the 16th end, 18-18 on the 18th end; it was only in the last three ends Lynsey pulled away, 19-18, 21-18, 21-19 (final score).
“The best thing about this year’s final was the spirit in which it was played, they played well but we did too, and we’re all good friends,” silver medal skip Chrissie Pavlov said.
“I’m ecstatic to win, it was one of the hardest state championships I’ve ever won, it was a really good battle, we’re all super competitive and it was quality bowls,” gold medal skip and new state champion Lynsey Clarke said.
“We can’t hate you for winning, you’re so nice!” Ann Russell said of the new state champs.
With 5 out of 11 titles now decided (State Mixed Pairs, State Triples x 2, State Fours x 2), there are six more opportunities (State Pairs x 2, State Over 60s Pairs x 2, State Singles x 2)
Tomorrow (Tues May 16) is a massive day with Pairs sectionals being conducted at seven bowls clubs, from South Tweed, Tweed Heads, Coolangatta, Tugun, Mudgeeraba, Robina and Musgrave Hill.
BQ CEO (and reigning State Men’s Pairs champion with Ryan Bester) Brett Wilkie thanked all host clubs for their support and wished all bowlers a great day tomorrow.
The Pairs finals will be held on Thurs May 18, Singles sectionals on Fri May 19, and Singles finals on Sun May 21.
Full Results from the Fours can be found on the BQ website EVENTS