Underdogs take the pairs by storm
Day 3 of the state Champion of Club Champions saw the two state titles taken out by the underdogs. (Pictured left: The proud winners of this year’s State Champion of Club Champions Pairs titles Robert Hammond, Wendy Usher, Joeanne Donpon and Greg John.)
In the playoff for gold, Club Helensvale’s Braidan Leese & Brett Wilkie took on country boys Greg John & Robert Hammond (Roma) in a fantastic final to cap off the two days of tough bowling.
It looked to be a foregone conclusion with Helensvale’s crack line up of Braidan Leese and heavyweight international rep Wilkie but the boys from Roma were not going to let the title slip away from them without a fight.
Roma got away to an early lead but there was almost nothing to separate the two teams for the first 16 ends of the competition with both teams on an equal footing at 15 shots apiece, neither team could ascertain a wide enough lead until Roma picked up six shots over three ends to take them into the lead 21-15 with only two ends left to play.
Although Helensvale won the last two ends they were unable to secure the seven shots needed to secure a victory which secured John and Hammond their first state title in the event.
“Next year will mark 30 years since I began playing bowls and I’ve always had the dream of taking out a state title and to come so close previously and then to come unstuck you start to doubt your abilities sometimes,” skip Hammond said.
“So to get a gold medal at this level against such a quality opposition in absolutely fantastic!”
In the playoff for bronze Red Hill’s Greg Rolls & Stephen Hayden took on Maryborough Services Memorial Bowls Club’s Mick Roy & Anthony Williams.
Despite the Maryborough pairing putting up a good fight they were unable to keep up with Red Hill despite having been neck and neck for the first 16 ends of the bronze final, Red Hill powered on to win all five of the remaining ends to take home the bronze with a 22-14 win.
In the women’s gold playoff North Dalby’s Joeanne Donpon & Wendy Usher picked up gold in style with a decisive 20 – 10 victory over Bramble Bay’s Sandra Lawson & Ester Regan which was an emotional first State Champ of Club Champs title win for and skip Usher.
“We’re pretty excited as it’s the first time we have got this far,” Usher said.
“We just knew we had to be in the head and make sure we cut their shots down in the final to keep the lead, we just knew we had to keep on going and plugging along and just stay confident.
“It was a tough competition and we had to play very hard to get here, our win was definitely one for the country!”
“Hopefully next year we will be back to defend our title.”
In the bronze medal playoff Club Kawana’s Di Viterale &Judy Whaites took on Cleveland’s Kay Smith & Karen Goldsworthy and won in a 25-17 encounter.
“I think the turning point for us in the competition is when we trailed the jack for four, as they were catching up on us and holding shot and the four shots just gave us a buffer and the edge we needed to seal the win,” Whaites said.
“It was a great competition and it was good to be able to show that we can win at this level of competition.”
Lead Viterale agreed “It was a tough game but it was great to get up and secure a win,” she said.
“I think the best part of the competition is when you realise that you’re here with the best and playing against the best and we are still competitive and that we deserve to be here.”
Final medal results:
Gold – Greg John & Robert Hammond (Roma)
Silver – Braidan Leese & Brett Wilkie (Club Helensvale)
Bronze – Greg Rolls & Steven Hayden (Red Hill)
Gold – Joanne Donpon & Wendy Usher (North Dalby)
Silver – Sandra Lawson & Ester Regan (Bramble Bay)
Bronze – Judy Whaites & Di Viterale (Kawana)
To see the full results and draw for the pairs event click here.