Sizzling State Pairs – Baker creates history
Sean Baker is fast becoming one of the all-time greats in Queensland bowls, today etching his name into the history books for the 12h time.
It was an “Australia versus the World” men’s pairs final with the defending champions taking on a Scottish and Canadian representative in a final which promised to entertain the crowds at Club Helensvale.
In the middle stages of the men’s pairs final, it looked like Groenewege and Baker had one hand back on their trophy, however Ryan Bester and Kevin Anderson had other ideas.
After 17 ends of the 21-end match, Bester and Anderson had reduced their deficit to just two shots, but it was the 20th end where Baker delivered the killer blow.
After the Broadbeach pairing had held four, Baker’s first bowl cleared out one and with his last bowl, Baker then came back to a draw shot and delivered the ultimate shot, giving his team a three-shot-lead playing the last end.
A last ditch effort by Anderson to kill the end was off target making it back-to-back titles for Groenewege and Baker and remarkably Baker’s 6thState Pairs title, and 12th overall State Championship victory.
As the current Australian Pairs Champions, they now have the opportunity to defend their National Title later in the year when they represent Queensland at the Australian Championships at Merimbula.
Past and present international players Katelyn Inch (NZ) and Julie Keegan (AUS) had their hands full in the Women’s State Pairs Final, taking on two members of last year’s State Fours Winners Heather Hodgson and Wendy Usher.
Hodgson, a runner-up in the 2019 State Mixed Pairs, and her partner Usher, both members of the Queensland Bowlers Arm Team were playing sensationally and had the scores locked at 11 all over 14 ends.
A few telling ends in favour of Inch and Keegan were looking like the star-studded side were going to run away with a comfortable win, however Hodgson and Usher continued to play well and stick with their international opponents.
Inch and Keegan’s experience was a telling factor over the last four ends; they went into the final end 6 shots in front and reduced their opponents to one.
Women’s Pairs Final
Katelyn Inch & Julie Keegan defeated Heather Hodgson & Wendy Usher 19-14
Men’s Pairs Final
Jade Groenewege & Sean Baker defeated Ryan Bester & Kevin Anderson 21-17
There will be a more comprehensive wrap-up in the next Bowler magazine, but in the meantime, you can view full matches from each days play on the Bowls QLD Facebook page.
For detailed scores of each round see the results page by clicking here: https://bowlsqld.org/Events/State-Events/State-Championships#Draw-Results-333