Women’s Tuesday BCiB Pennant Finals
Played 11th March at Victoria Park-Carlisle and Melville There was another thrilling finish to the Women’s BCiB Premier League Pennant Final as Manning Memorial Bowling Club held their nerve to stave off a spirited Gosnells side that was looking to cause their third upset in three days.
Gosnells were undefeated since their 51-65 loss to Manning in Round 11 on January 6 and their post-Christmas form saw them maintain fourth spot having not been in the four all season until a 51-all draw with Mosman Park in Round 10. Gosnells beat Osborne Park in the penultimate round of the regular home and away season 64-54 and with the heat rule in force the following Tuesday, ensured the two side would match up again in an elimination final.
Coincidentally, Manning also enjoyed a ten-shot victory against their semi-final opponents Mosman Park that same day in Round 17. Australian A representative Kristina Krstić lead the way with an 18-11 win over Kerry Anderson, while Helen Morss defeated Beverly Baker 21-19 and Therese Hastings got over the line 18-17 against fellow State Skipper Lisa Featherby. With Krstić on International duty, Rechelle Cole was required to fill those big shoes in the qualifying final and gave a very good account of herself despite going down by just two shots. Hastings and Morss were big winners on the day as the Eagles soared above the Mossies and took a further step to banishing the memory of last year’s heartbreaking grand final loss; 68-47 the final score.
Mosman Park’s opponent in the following day’s preliminary final would be Gosnells after the Kookaburra’s and in particular the scintillating form of the Premier League’s best performed skipper Angela Sharp, proved too strong for the Osborne Park Saints. In Round 17, her 31-12 win over Hailey Adams carried the aggregate despite Anne Crabb and Margaret Anderson going down to Shelley Radcliffe and Pam Chalmers by four and five shots respectively. In the elimination semi-final, Sharp was at her best again defeating Radcliffe 25-14. Anderson got up by one-shot over Shari Solly and although Chalmers beat Crabb 24-20, it was never going to be enough to send the Saints through.
Instead, Sharp was afforded the opportunity to simply carry on from where she left off the previous day and again she did not disappoint, winning 25-10 over Baker. Not even the home conditions and comforts could stop Gosnells’ momentum with Anderson defeating Andersen 18-13; Featherby’s rink the only winner for Mosman Park as they went down 41-58 and unable to defend their Pennant title.
At Victoria Park-Carlisle, it was Gosnells who made the faster start to the Grand Final as they turned up the heat on perennial flag-favourites Manning, leading 16-4 after 12 ends. It did not take long for Manning to settle as Morss and then Hastings nudged in front while Cole fought back get within two of the high-flying Sharp. In a see-sawing battle, Gosnells claimed ten shots from four ends before Manning replied with eight from the next four and regained the lead, 37-34 on 36.
Two-thirds of the way through the game the margin was back to one, with Sharp continuing to convert and leading 16-9 (16). Morss was responding in kind, up 18-12 (14) and one felt the outcome would likely be decided by the experience of Hastings or Crabb; the score 16-14 (12) in favour of the state skip.
Manning led 49-45 on 48 and by as many as eight when youngster Cole showed real fight and strength of character to kill the 20th end twice before combining with her impressive third Robyn O’Brien to pick up three vital shots. Sharp and her rink comprising Margaret Dillon, Linda Bryant and lead Loraine Brady were outstanding; a single on the last left them 21-13 winners. Morss, with her second Robyn Jolly in top-form, triumphed 22-16. However, Anderson, who had been cutting down the count all day, also managed singles on her last two ends and suddenly the Kookaburras were trailing by just three with three ends to play.
Another two to Crabb setup the grandstand finish, as spectators now sat on the edge of their seats. Hastings, holding one, chose not to play her last bowl on the penultimate end opting instead to defend her side’s slender two-shot advantage. She then literally lay down on the green after her playing her last bowl on the final end while Crabb assessed the head. Laura Merz’s bowl was holding shot, having been rolled once by the unfortunate Shelley Hickinbotham. Crabb had the opportunity to play through the head with two back bowls potentially forcing an extra end or indeed providing the chance of winning the Premier League pennant flag then and there.
Hastings was back on her feet along with most of the crowd who held their collective breath as Crabb’s bowl held the correct the line but lacked the sufficient weight to move the jack. The 20-23 score line meant Gosnells had lost by the narrowest of margins. Manning, though thoroughly deserving champions halted their celebrations to commiserate with their courageous opponents; knowing the shared feeling of disappointment and defeat only twelve months prior.
All Tuesday BCiB Pennant Final Results
Premier League: MANNING bt GOSNELLS 58 (2) – 57 (1)
1st Division White: SORRENTO bt MANNING 55 (1) – 51 (2)
1st Div. Green North: OSBORNE PARK bt NORTH BEACH 59 (2) – 42 (1)
1st Div. Green South: WILLETTON bt ROSSMOYNE 62 (2) – 52 (1)
2nd Division: WANNEROO bt SAFETY BAY 2 69 (3) – 35 (0)
3rd Division: OSBORNE PARK 2 bt WILLETTON 1 58 (2) – 55 (1)
4th Division: MT PLEASANT bt PERTH AND TATTERSALLS 42 (3) – 35 (0)