Queensland continue to roll towards gold
Queensland appears destined to strike gold at the Australian Under-18 Championships in Darwin, after booking berths in a further two golden deciders. The Maroons have now secured a position in the gold/silver medal play-offs of half of the tournament’s disciplines, after progressing in this afternoon’s blue-ribbon boys’ singles and girls’ pairs. Beenleigh’s Nic Gosley followed in the footsteps of his state teammate Connie-Leigh Rixon, who only hours earlier paved way to the girls’ singles gold medal match, winning through undefeated after a final rubber encounter against the ACT. Gosley faces his toughest test yet to claim the ultimate prize, after Victoria’s Jay Bye-Norris cut a swath through the pool of death, which included the past two title winners, NSW and Western Australia, keeping his record unblemished with a 21-15 win over 2012 singles winner David Downey. NSW, who clean swept all three major silverware honours last still remain in the hunt, adding a further two gold medal play-offs to their list of achievements. In will be a state of origin clash when the Blues’ Lauren Shaw, Molly Wilton and Jamie-Lee Worsnop encounter the Maroons’ Michaela Bailey-Nelson, Connie-Leigh Rixon & Tiffany Murray in the girls’ triples. Ellen Ryan and Dawn Hayman booked NSW’s third gold medal match in the girls’ pairs, but will face stiff competition in Tasmania’s Sophie Young and Taleah Putney, who have been somewhat a surprise packet at the event and relegated Queensland to a bronze decider. Boys’ singles play-offs Gold/silver medal match: Jay Bye-Norris (VIC) v Nic Gosley (QLD) Bronze/4th: Jono Davis (NSW) v Joe Thomas (TAS) 5th/6th: Marcus Simpson (NT) v Tyson Wilson (SA) 7th/8th: David Downey (WA) v Brendan Spaven (ACT) Girls’ pairs play-offs Gold/silver medal match: Ellen Ryan & Dawn Hayman (NSW) v Mikayla Fuller & Mikayla Gibson (TAS) Bronze/4th: Tiffany Brodie & Tayla Morison (VIC) v Sophie Young & Taleah Putney (QLD) 5th/6th: Meghan Philpott & Elizabeth Allen (WA) v Jessica Hogan & Jaime Locke (ACT) 7th/8th: Skye Woodhouse & Shae Smith (NT) v Rianne Reiger & Lynsey Trenorden (SA) Girls’ triples play-offs Gold/silver medal match: Lauren Shaw, Molly Wilton & Jamie-Lee Worsnop (NSW) v Michaela Bailey-Nelson, Connie-Leigh Rixon & Tiffany Murray (QLD) Bronze/4th: Amelia Bruggy, Elise Rigoni & Cody Sylvester (VIC) v Bailey Raffety, Jacqui Bowman & Carly Otterspoor (SA) 5th/6th: Kellie Ainsworth, Amelia Axford & Danya Cant (WA) v Chloe Morrison, Jessica Blunden & Tracey Swift (ACT) 7th/8th: Kerri-Anne Zavazal, Lauren Kingsley & Stephanie Clarke (NT) v Felicity Ives, Ebony White & Hollie Keen (TAS) Caption: Queensland’s Nic Gosley is congratulated by state coach and 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Bill Cornehls.