Tas teams take fight right up to favourites
The Tasmanian men’s and women’s teams performed more than creditably on a very tough day one of the Australian Lawn Bowls Sides Championships in Burnie yesterday, as Tony Fulton reports for the Hobart Mercury. The women’s team started brilliantly with a fighting win over the very strong Queensland combination – 63-61 – winning on two rinks. There was nothing in the contest throughout with first one team leading then the other. Gaylene Elsworthy led Pamela Rowe by six shots after 39 ends and was able to hold on for a 21-18 win. Jenny Redshaw had a two-shot margin at the same stage and was able to finish strongly for a 25-16 win over Louise Wilton. While Rebecca Van Asch struggled against fellow Australian teammate Lynsey Clarke she was able to keep her losing margin to 10 shots to help Tasmania’s great start to the series. The men had a titanic battle against Queensland and took the game right up to the experienced Bulls. Scores were tied after 13 ends and Tasmania faded only in the last 10 ends or so to go down valiantly 50-62. Adam White had the better of Nathan Rice for most of the game, converting a 10-7 halfway lead to a 21-14 win. Robert McMullen and Mark Casey were tight for most of the game before Casey slipped away for a 28-20 win for Queensland. Kelvin Kirkow’s vast experience proved too much for Lee Schraner. He won 20-9 despite valiant attempts by Schraner to turn the game. In the afternoon games both teams put in mighty efforts against the outright favourites for the titles, Victoria, and can take great confidence into the remaining games. Both teams were always in the contest but could not get that ounce of luck needed to get over the line. The women’s team lost 45-68 with Elsworthy beating Elise Cowan 20-17 for Tassie’s only rink win. Redshaw lost to Sam Shannahan 14-24 and Van Asch to Carla Odgers 11-27. The men’s team threw down the gauntlet to the Big V and seriously challenged the favourites until Victoria steadied in the last few ends to take the match by 16 shots. Schraner had a draw with Wayne Roberts 20-20, while for Victoria Aaron Wilson beat Robert McMullen 24-15 and after a great battle Matthew Flapper got the better of White to win 24-17. At the South Burnie Club today Tasmania will come up against the Northern Territory and Western Australia.