Australian team to contest $50,000 East Cessnock 5 A Side
Bowls Australia’s national selection panel has confirmed that it will field a five-strong women’s team in this year’s $50,000 East Cessnock 5 A Side tournament.
The team chosen to compete at the second iteration of the event will feature four Australian Jackaroos squad members and one NSW/ACT National Training Centre representative when it ignites at NSW’s East Cessnock Bowling Club, from April 20 to 23.
Two of Australia’s recently announced Trans Tasman combatants headline the 5 A Side team, with St Johns Park’s reigning dual Australian Open champion Anne Johns handed the blue-ribbon singles event, and will also line-up in the middle of the triples, while Cabramatta’s Claire Turley will skip the triples and play third in the fours discipline.
Tweed Head’s Australian squad member Kristy Thatcher will lead the pairs and fours, while Tasmania’s 2012 world champion Rebecca Van Asch is the only non New South Welshmen in the mix, chosen to skip the pairs and fours.
The youngest member to secure a berth is 18 year-old Natalie Noronha, who is also the only inclusion from outside the sport’s top high performance tier, with the Merrylands’ young-gun chosen to lead the triples and slot into second spot of the fours discipline.
With 20 teams set to take part, one hundred of the nation’s best bowlers will descend on the Hunter Region for the four day event, which includes three days of four sessions per day of pairs/triples, singles/fours, pairs/triples, singles/fours, after which the top four clubs will contested the semi-finals and grand final.
In order to hone their skills and teamwork as a collective ahead of the event, the Bowls Australia endorsed team will utilise the sport’s NSW Centre of Excellence, Cabramatta Bowling Club, as a training hub over the next 77 days.
“While only it is second year, the East Cessnock 5 A Side is an important event for our high performance team, providing another opportunity for our players to compete again the nation’s best and our national selectors a chance to scout the sport’s finest,” Glasson said.
“Cabramatta Bowling Club, our NSW Centre of Excellence, will prove an invaluable tool in our preparation for this event, and we are extremely grateful for their continued involvement in ensuring our athletes have best facilities available to them to progress as players.”
Club Helenvale’s Mark Casey, Brett Wilkie, Nathan Rice, Anthony Kiepe and Anthony Fantini claimed the inaugural honours last year, with the prize-pool increasing by $10,000 in year two to ensure that 50 per cent of the field receive prize money.
Singles – Anne Johns (St Johns Park, NSW)
Pairs – Kristy Thatcher (Tweed Heads, NSW) & Rebecca Van Asch (Invermay, TAS)
Triples – Natalie Noronha (Merrylands, NSW), Anne Johns, Claire Turley (Cabramatta, NSW)
Fours – Kristy Thatcher, Natalie Noronha, Claire Turley & Rebecca Van Asch
Manager – Beth Quinlan (National Selector)
Caption: St Johns Park’s Anne Johns in action during her 2014 Australian Open singles win.
Bowls Australia would like to acknowledge the assistance and funding provided by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association to Bowls Australia for athletes in the 2015 NextGEN AUSComGames Squad program (formerly the Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Squad program).