Defending champs looking to reclaim title in pairs draw
Last year’s defending Australian Open pairs champions Dylan Fisher and Russell Green Jnr are continuing their hunt for back-to-back titles after progressing through the opening round of the men’s pairs draw last night. The duo took to the greens in a solid display of unity as they edged out their opposition in Michael Humphreys and Phillip Thorn, prevailing 16-11. Australian Jackaroo member Fisher skipped his partner to success as a result of picking up shots on the early ends and holding steady throughout the middle part of their match.x Across the rinks the same couldn’t however be said for dual International Bowler of the Year Aron Sherriff and 2013 Trans-Tasman champion Matt Flapper, with the pair bowing out in the opening round of the pair’s draw to Fitzroy’s Michael Stanley and Scott Guymer 8-15. The Victorian representatives looked all the goods with consistent bowling after picking up a solid count of four on the second last end to all but seal the fate of the formidable forces in Sherriff and Flapper who loomed ominously in this year’s men’s draw. “It’s always the first round where these big name players are likely to fall,” Standley said after the match. “It’s a dream come true for us – those guys are true champions and 99 times out a hundred they would win, but we just had one of the days yesterday where everything aligned.” Last year’s National Champion of Champions pair’s champion Carl Healy and 2010 Australian Open triples champion Ben Twist marched through their opening round encounter against Corowa’s James Dunn and Danny Webb, reigning supreme 18-11. While it was full steam ahead for Australian Jackaroo Nathan Rice, as he bids to secure his first title alongside Club Helensvale teammate Rohan Wilson, after advancing through to the second round by defeating Bendigo’s Troy Mansbridge and Moonee Valley’s Joshua Rennex 17-12. South African veteran and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Neil Burkett, alongside his partner Peter Williams also proved too strong in their opening round clash against Victorian qualifiers Michael Kallimeier and John Simons, advancing 17-10. With an impressive resume of over 350 games for South Africa, the skipper proved experience counts out on the green, with impressive ends of 5 and 4 counts to secure their standing into the second round. The action from the men’s pairs continues on the green from 1:30pm today at the Darebin International Sports Centre. Story provided by Courtney McKenna for bowlsaustralia.com.au.