Honouring long serving state representatives
New South Wales may have claimed overall honours at the recent Australian Sides Championships; however individual players were also celebrating milestone achievements for their states during the event.
When Alan Monfries stepped onto the green during this year’s Australian Sides Championships in Yokine Perth, it was remarkably his 24th Australian Sides appearance representing the ACT.
Whilst many bowlers have dreamed of one day being selected for their state, Monfries has been a season campaigner for ACT, missing just one Australian Sides Championships since his very first back in 1990 as a 23 year old.
Monfries, effectively known as Spider, has achieved a lot in his career with the highlight being his victory in the Australian Singles back in 1999.
Whilst Monfries has already stamped his name in the history books, the 48 year old has intentions to aim for the milestone 25th appearance next year in Canberra.
Australia’s most capped international bowler Karen Murphy and Australian National selector Beth Quinlan are hot on Monfries heels having each played 19 Australian Sides Championships.
Murphy played in her first Australian Sides for New South Wales back in 1996 at Moorooka in Brisbane and has not missed an Australian Sides since her debut.
Beth Quinlan has had the honour of representing two states, the Northern Territory on eight occasions and New South Wales for the past 11 years; during her third visit to Perth she celebrated her 19th Australian Sides appearance alongside fellow Blue’s rep Murphy.
Quinlan missed an Australian Sides for national duties in 2010 when she competed in the Eight Nations International in Delhi where she won silver in the triples with Sharyn Renshaw and Claire Turley.
Victoria’s Barrie Lester and Tasmania’s Mark Strochnetter celebrated their 300th state representative games during the Alley Shield.
Both men have represented Australia; however they hold their magnificent state achievements very highly knowing that very few past players have reached the 300 game milestone.
Australian Jackaroo Aron Sherriff celebrated his 200th game for New South Wales in style, playing what his team mates described as the best exhibition of skipping they had ever seen.
Aron Sherriff defeated his Australian team mate Nathan Rice convincingly in a game he will surely never forget.
On a sad note, NTC Coach Therese Hastings announced her retirement from Western Australian state duties after 182 games for the Sandgropers.
Three QLD men also announced their shock retirements, former Australian representative Anthony Kiepe, former Australian ‘A’ Squad member Anthony Fantini and long serving state representative Darren Mullens.
Bowls Australia would like to congratulate each and every player who reached a milestone game during the Australian Sides Championships and wish all the players the very best with their endeavours to be selected for upcoming state representative honours.
Caption:Alan Monfries delivers a bowl at the 2012 Australian Sides championships