NSW Blues snare stunning Sides trifecta
NSW put the finishing touches on a spectacular Australian Sides Championships in Yokine, Perth today, producing a historic four-peat of the women’s Marj Morris Trophy, and in stunning fashion also claimed the men’s Alley Shield.
The Blues etched their name into the history books as the first state or territory to record four consecutive Marj Morris Trophy wins in the women’s 26 year event history, after concluding the round-robbin competition with an unblemished seven wins.
Unfazed by having already wrapped up proceedings a day earlier with an unassailable lead, the Blues seized their opportunity to finish up the event undefeated with a final round win against the Northern Territory.
In the men’s event, South Australia were unable to break a 26 year Alley Shield dry spell after coming agonisingly close to achieving just their second ever men’s victory, with a heartbreaking 1 shot loss to ACT in the final round costing them dearly.
The Reds were in the box seat to break their Australian Sides Championships drought, having already prevailed against the highly fancied NSW contingent in the penultimate round encounter between the two undefeated teams, but were left rueing would could have been after a harrowing final round loss.
A count back of rink wins gave the Blues the ultimate men’s accolade, after their three-rink last round victory against the Northern Territory gave them a one-and-a-half rink advantage over the Croweaters, with both concluding the tournament on six wins.
As a result, the state dethroned Queensland for their 19th Alley Shield in the 50th staging of the time-honoured tournament.
While it was a somewhat hollow victory for the Blues men, there was further cause for celebration for the Waratah state, with their Marj Morris Trophy and Alley Shield victories proving the catalyst for a further honour, the Overall Champions Trophy.
NSW now lead the overall rankings’ honour-board, four-to-three over Queensland, since its introduction in 2008.
Rounding out the clean sweep of awards for NSW was the best performed rink honours, given to Matthew Miles, Andrew Howie, Matthew Baus and Aron Sherriff in the men, while Kelly Richards, Ellen Ryan, Anne Johns and Natasha Scott finished the competition undefeated to be rightfully named the women’s rink of the series.
Bowls Australia congratulate NSW on claiming the Marj Morris Trophy, Alley Shield and Overall Champions Trophy, and acknowledge the valiant effort of the other seven state and territories.
Men’s final ladder:
1. NSW (18 points, 15.5 rinks), 2. SA (18, 14), 3. QLD (12, 11.5), 4. VIC (12, 10.5), 5. TAS (12, 10.5), 6. WA (6, 9.5), 7. ACT (6, 8), 8. NT (0, 4.5)
Women’s final ladder:
1. NSW (21 points, 18.5 rinks), 2. QLD (12, 12), 3. ACT (12, 11.5), 4. VIC (12, 11), 5. SA (10, 10.5), 6. TAS (9, 10), 7. WA (7, 10.5), 8. NT (0, 0)
Click here for full results from the 2015 Australian Sides Championships.