A case of the Blues in the Top End
NSW’s title defence remains alive after the opening day of the Australian Under-18 Championships in Nightcliff, Darwin, but it wasn’t without setbacks for the perennial Blues. Having walked away with the boys, girls and overall trophy last year in Sorrento, Western Australia, NSW commenced their four-day campaign strongly in the Top End, but suffered two potentially costly hiccups at the hands of the Sandgropers. Western Australia, who completed the same coveted feat as NSW just 12 months prior, drew blood against the Blues in two disciplines, to keep their own hopes of a gold rush alive. Elizabeth Allan affirmed her growing reputation in the sport by overcoming the highly fancied Jamie-Lee Worsnop, who in August became the youngest ever winner of the $30,000 Australian Indoor Championships, by two shots in the first-to-21 singles event over the course of a gritty 29 ends. The boys’ fours team were downed in a tight tussle, 15-16, but the state did manage to secure their remaining six disciplines to wrap up the first day’s play. A huge test for NSW will come in the form of Victoria, who kept the host state Northern Territory winless after day one, encountering the Big V in every discipline tomorrow. In the opposite side of the draw, Queensland joined the winners’ list in seven out of eight rubbers against South Australia, prevailing in all but the boys’ triples, and loom as the likely candidate to progress to a number of gold medal deciders on Thursday. With the top finishers from each pool progressing through to the gold medal matches at the conclusion of the three round-robin games, the Australian Under-18 Championships is an unforgiving arena, with little respite for those who fail to win all of their encounters. Click here for full results from the 2014 Australian Under-18 Championships in Nightcliff, Darwin.