A LAST-MINUTE PAIRING MIXED PAIRS CHAMPS

by jgrey

By Kelsey Cottrell

We could not have asked for a better final to kick start the 2020 Queensland State Championships.

The mixed pairs final saw Cassandra Millerick and Sean Ingham (Broadbeach) up against Lynsey Clarke (Tweed Heads) and Brett Wilkie (Kawana) who were stepping out in their first outing for their respective new clubs. Not only were we guaranteed a top-quality match with four household names contesting this final but whoever triumphed would add another QLD State Title to their collection.

If the semi-finals were anything to go by, spectators would have been hard pressed to determine a favourite heading into the decider. Ingham and Millerick were victorious by 6 shots against their good mates and fellow Broadbeach players Katelyn Inch and Ryan Burnett after fighting back from a 2-13 deficit. Janet Healey (Kallangur) and Dean Mcwhinney (Beenleigh) put up a great show against Clarke and Wilkie but fell short by 10 shots.

The final started well for the Broadbeach pairing jumping out to an early lead; however, in the middle stages of the match Clarke and Wilkie found their groove and got themselves back into the match trailing  by just 5 shots at the half way mark.

The wind was swirling at Paradise Point; however, players were sticking to the wide hand as much as possible and making the conditions look easier than they were.

We were all waiting for the turning point in the match and it came on the 18th end when Sean Ingham trailed the jack into the ditch after Clarke and Wilkie had built the head up nicely holding three shots. Millerick and Ingham scored two on that end and extended their lead 16-9.

The Broadbeach pair looked confident and it was always going to be hard for Clarke and Wilkie to score multiples with Millerick leading well and Ingham backing her up nicely.

The final score was 19-11 giving Millerick her 7th state title and Ingham his 6th title; both first time mixed pairs champions.

“I’m so excited to win the mixed pairs for the first time and I’m grateful to Sean for filling in for Kevin (Andersen) at the last minute,” said a delighted Millerick.

“It was a great final against two super stars, we just played our game; I don’t look too far ahead, I just like to turn up and try and play well.”

“Getting the first win of the championships is amazing because it does give you confidence going into the next events, I feel as though we know what the greens are doing now so I’m looking forward to playing in the pairs, fours and singles.”

The State Triples commence tomorrow with finals back at Paradise Point on Friday.

To watch today’s mixed pairs final visit the Bowls QLD Facebook page.