The 2017 State Champion of Club Champions singles finals proved to be crowd thrillers at Mermaid Beach. Pictured left: This year’s Champion of Club Champions singles medal winners Tracy Foster (bronze), Ester Regan (silver), Lynsey Clarke (gold), Ryan Bester (gold), Stephen Hayden (silver) and Anthony Williams (bronze).
Story by Tom Sharman
Three of the four finals played came down to the wire at Mermaid Beach Bowls Club today (Thurs Oct 26), captivating the eager crowd as the players battled to the bitter end to claim a prestige state singles title.
Club Helensvale’s Lynsey Clarke and Bramble Bay’s Ester Regan were the last to cross the finish line, their epic battle for gold and the state women’s singles title continued well after the other rinks had finished, both players unable to open up a decisive lead as they traded shot for shot.
The final end proved to be the tensest of all with both players sat on 24 a piece and each needing only one shot to claim the title, supporters for both players were on the edge of their seats as the final shots were taken but it was Clarke who would have the final say in the matter by securing the one shot needed.
“It was a game of two halves really, I got off to a good lead and was doing quite well and then next minute I was down and from there on we were just trading bowl for bowl,” Clarke said.
“I just knew then that I had to just remain consistent and just try to make it to 25 shots first, It was super exciting and I think the crowd really enjoyed watching the game too.
“When you win a game like this it’s always good for the confidence and so I’m pretty happy with that one, I think to have all of the ‘Hawkies’ here to support me really helped get me over the line as well, so it’s good to win for the club.”
In the women’s bronze medal play-off, Everton Park’s Jennifer Blundell was able to give West Toowoomba’s Tracy Foster a run for her money.
Blundell staged a comeback in the later stage of the game, allowing Foster to pick up only three shots over six ends, closing the gap from 13-21 to 20-24.
However, with Foster on game point, it didn’t take long to produce the one-shot necessary to take home bronze and finish the game at 25-20.
“It was a good game and it could have gone either way, as Jenny is a good player to go up against,” Foster said.
“You are always worried about games like this and Jenny is a consistent bowler which always makes it tough.”
Broadbeach bowls coordinator Ryan Bester produced a strong result 25-9 over Red Hill’s Stephen Hayden in a Goliath & David battle.
Hayden converted a few good ends but the 2014 Commonwealth Games Singles Silver medallist (for Canada) proved too consistent at the head and was able to walk away with the men’s singles title.
“The conditions made it a little bit tricky with the wind but I just dropped a couple of ends but I was able to pick up a couple of multiples which helped my cause,” Bester said.
“I’ll definitely try to come back and defend my title again, but it’s hard enough just to win the club title!”
Bester is waiting to hear next week if he has been selected in the Canadian team for Comm Games 2018 in his adopted ‘home city’ of Gold Coast, but with his top form, it’s expected to be a foregone conclusion.
The playoff for the men’s bronze was also an incredibly close final with 13-year-old Jake Rynne (North Toowoomba) making Maryborough Services Memorial’s Anthony Williams work for the win, both players sitting on 24 shots each in the final end.
It was a valiant effort from the young gun who also had a blinder the previous day against Ryan Bester (23-25) which caught the attention of the national coach Steve Glasson.
But Williams well deserved his bronze medal, his second of this year’s Champion of Club Champions state playoffs.
Williams and Mick Roy in the pairs were narrowly denied a section win (by two shots) by BQ CEO Brett Wilkie and Braidan Leese.
“I think the big turning point for me in the game was my second to the last bowl which was a lucky drive which freed up space in the head for me and allowed me to get my last bowl to be shot,” Williams said.
“Jake was a tough opponent and I think he’s got a big future in bowls as he has a lot of potential and I won’t want to be playing against him in a few more years that’s for sure!”
Women’s Singles medal results:
Gold – Lynsey Clarke
Silver – Ester Regan
Bronze – Tracy Foster
Men’s Singles medal results:
Gold – Ryan Bester
Silver – Steve Hayden
Bronze – Anthony Williams
If you would like to see the full results and draw click here.