Maroons capture Alley Shield with a round to spare

by admin

Perennial powerhouse Queensland has sewn up its sixth Alley Shield in nine years after attaining an unassailable lead at the Australian Sides Championships in Tasmania this afternoon. With one round remaining at the national state-versus-state competition in Burnie, the Maroons have already established an impregnable position after extending their unbeaten streak to six, scraping across the line with a single shot victory against a defiant NSW contingent in round five, and the exact same scenario played out against Western Australian in their sixth encounter. Despite only capturing eight out of a possibly 18 rinks over the course of the past three days, including only two of six today, the Maroons consistently recorded one substantial rink margin to outgun their opposition on the overall scoreboard and obtain their 13th Alley Shield in the event’s 55-year history. “It’s been very pleasing the way the guys have performed, we haven’t had the rink wins, but we’ve grinded out some tough wins and stuck together to get across the line,” Queensland Coach Bill Cornehls said. “I’m stoked they have come together as such a unit, all the guys are growing little goatees just as bit of team bonding, which has really brought them closer together and paid dividends. “It’s something special, playing against all the other states, especially coming to surfaces that we’re not familiar with up north, I just couldn’t be any prouder. “The next goal is the Overall State Champions Trophy – if both the men and women go out and play well against South Australia tomorrow, we should be right up there for a chance to claim that too.” NSW, Victoria and South Australia will now play for second position in the men’s competition, with only one rink separating the second placed Blues to fourth placed Croweaters. In the women’s event, the Marj Morris Trophy remains somewhat of a lottery. Defending title holders NSW will go into the last rubber with the Trophy as theirs to lose, holding a 1 rink lead over Victoria, courtesy of their three-straight rink win against the Big V in the fifth round this afternoon. A litany of teams are lurking close behind though, with Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania also equal with NSW and Victoria on four wins – only two-and-a-half rink wins separating first-placed Blues to fifth position Tigers. The final round of the Australian Sides Championships will commence at South Burnie from 9.00am tomorrow morning, with Queensland squaring off against South Australia, NSW facing host state Tasmania, Victoria locking horns with ACT and Western Australia to face Northern Territory. Click here for full results from the Australian Sides Championships.