Pieter Harris’ Super Six Day 1 Report

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Coach’s Report from South Burnie The Men’s and Women’s Super Six teams began the campaigns of their respective teams on the tough South Burnie greens today. Due to a day of rain the day before, the four greens in Burnie, Tasmania were running at a slow pace making concentration levels paramount for every bowl played. Rarely are Western Australian bowlers required to play on these paced greens but the sides were confident they would be able to adapt their game style to compensate for such types of conditions.
In the Super six competition the states are divided into two sections of four with singles, pairs and triples teams taking part. The day began against the strong Victorian contingent who has a strong track record in this event. The Men found the going very tough and although competitive were unable to come out with a victory from the three disciplines. Stuart Bainbridge in the singles was extremely competitive and was narrowly beaten 21-18 by Dylan Fisher. Matt Ellul and Matt Ayres showed signs of good form but were unable to play enough good ends and went down 20-10. The triples of Tom Mitchell, Clive Adams and Daniel Patterson started the game strongly and halfway through the match led the game by two shots and held a good four. Unfortunately a good shot and a little educated luck was on the Victorian skips’ side as he came through the pack to grab the jack and two shots. From that point on the Victorian team stepped up to the challenge and went on to win 20-13.
The Women’s team had a mixed morning with a win, loss and draw in their three disciplines. Kristina Krstic had a nip and tuck battle with her Victorian opponent, Chloe Stewart, and at times looked a winner. However, as you would expect at this level Stewart kept up the pressure and eventually came out the winner 21-18 in a high quality game. The big winners for Western Australian came in the pairs competition where first time state skip Kelli Rogalski and state debutant Laura Merz took all before them with a 23-15 win. Playing with the confidence of veterans, the pairing gave their opponents little room to move throughout the game and were impressive to all neutral onlookers. The triples team of Therese Hastings, Rechelle Cole and Shenayde Heldt had a ding dong battle all morning with barely a shot between them and their Victorian opponents. When the final bowl of the game came to rest the teams could still not be separated and a score of 15-15 was a fitting result.
The 2nd Round against the Northern Territory came with the men needing to get on the board and the women needing to continue their early good work. All six players in the Men’s team stepped their game up to another level and the results followed. Bainbridge was tested but showed his fighting ability in the singles with a 21-18 win. The pairs team of Ellul and Ayres jumped out to a big lead with precision drawing and sit/stay shots and although they gave up some shots late in the game, the 23-11 was a fair reflection of their game. The triples of Mitchell, Adams and Patterson also showed they had learnt a few tricks from the morning game and came through with a 17-13 win. The Women’s triples team of Hastings, Cole and Heldt showed the disappointment of a draw in the morning had stung them into action. The resulting 24-11 win was a strong team effort by all the girls and gave them a chance to progress to the medal rounds. Krstic in the singles was in all sorts of trouble early but showed her growing maturity by fighting back with a 21-18 win. The pairs team of Rogalski and Merz started their second game strongly and looked the likely winners but the Northern Territory girls turned things around. Needing three on the last end to get the win, the girls could only manage a single to fall short 15-16.
The third and final preliminary round against the Australian Capital Territory saw all Western Australian teams in with a chance to make  Saturday’s medal rounds. In the Men’s singles, Bainbridge started slowly and found himself 4-13 down before he found his range. As he had shown all day, Bainbridge’s fighting qualities slowly put him back in the game to finally hit the front 19-18. However, holding game with two shots wasn’t enough and his ACT opponent Andrew Howie played a terrific shot to put the jack in the ditch and claim three shots and a 21-19 win. The pairs also needed a win to play on Saturday and they saved their best game til last. A 25-10 win saw them claim second place in the section and the right to take on South Australia in the game for 3rd and 4th. The Men’s triples also saved their best game until last and with bowls always in the head they took a 22-15 win. In the morning they will play New South Wales in the game for 3rd and 4th. The Women’s teams also had all to play for and were in line for medal games on Saturday. In the singles Krstic was pushed to the limit but came out on top with a 21-17 win. This win earned her a match in the 3rd and 4th playoff against Queensland’s Natasha Jones. The young pairs combination of Rogalski and Merz returned to their morning form and suffocated their opponents for much of the game. The 26-11 win put them on top of the section and tomorrow they will play New South Wales for a gold medal. The women’s triples also returned to events of the morning round when they had a shot for shot battle with their opponent. Unfortunately this time they were to fall agonisingly short and couldn’t get the shot needed on the last end and went down 14-16. Their one win, one draw and one loss record was still good enough to earn them a 3rd and 4th playoff game against Queensland on Saturday Morning.
Pieter Harris
Men’s Head Coach