WA to contest Australian Sides Championships

by Aaron Delaporte

The WA State team has boarded the plane as they travel to Ettalong Bowling Club in NSW to contest the Australian Sides Championships. This round robin event will see the nations eight states and territories do battle in a round robin format of three rinks of fours each. The Men play for the coverted Alley Shield which WA has won on eight occasions and the Women play for the Marj Morris shield which WA has won on two occasions.

Both WA teams will field two debutantes.

The WA Men will be hoping to improve on the sixth place of last year and have Kevin McKay (Kardinya) and Russell Bates (Dudley Park) pictured on debut. They have great experience in the side especially within the rink of Rankin, Knott, McIlroy and Adams who between them have over 500 games of state experience. Conversely WA will have one of the youngest and least experienced rinks at the event with Packer, Williams, McKay and Grigg having just the 108 games between them with an average age of just 26 years old – it will be a good test for them but one that they should be up for. The other rink is that of John Slavich, Matt Mitchell, Brandsma and Bates, expect a good showing from them with Perth Suns Slavich at the helm.

On debut for the ladies will be Lisa Brannan (Melville) and Jenny Parker (Mosman Park) who will be hoping to combine with a fairly reliable line-up to improve on their fifth position of last year. WA has three fairly strong looking rinks on paper. The team of Krstic, Jolly, Abe and Merz of which three of these players made the finals of the State Singles looks a stand out and should win plenty of games. Morss, Packer, Brannan and Solly looks another good rink capable of a bold showing and Featherby, Warburton, O’Brien and Parker contains some very reliable bowlers who should also do well. WA should be right in medal contention with this very good team.

Both sides will have a short practise session upon arrival today before two test matches on Wednesday in preparation for the Sides Championships.

WA’s schedule of play at the Australian Sides Championships is as follows (times listed are EST):

Thursday 11th April:         9am WA v SA    1.30pm WA v ACT

Friday 12th April:               9am WA v Tas    1.30pm WA v NSW

Saturday 13th April:          9am WA v NT     1.30pm WA v Qld

Sunday 14th April:             8.30am WA v Vict.

Player Milestones (current number of games in brackets)

Debut: Kevin McKay (0), Russell Bates (0), Lisa Brannan (0), Jenny Parker (0)

50 Games: Laura Merz (48), Linda Warburton (48)

100 Games: Kristina Krstic (99), Helen Morss (92)

200 Games: Kyle McIlroy (193)

Bowls WA will provide scores and updates via our Bowls WA Facebook Page throughout the championships.

More information can be found via the Bowls Australia Event Website