Packer and Mitchell win State Pairs

by Pieter Harris

The pairing of Cody Packer (Osborne Park) and Matthew Mitchell (Emu Point) have taken out the 2019-2020 Dyenamic WA Men’s State Pairs by defeating Ryan Moyle (Doubleview) and Tom Whitfield (Doubleview) in not only a quality final but a quality finals day on the great greens at the Sorrento Bowling Club.

The first Semi Final saw Packer and Mitchell pushed to the limit by Bowls WA Academy members Cameron Harris (Cambridge) and Connor Biddle (Warnbro). Harris and Biddle have played together in this event for a number of years and showed tremendous maturity to push the eventual champions into an extra end.

Packer/Mitchell started the game at a fast pace with two three’s in the first two ends before the Harris/Biddle combination settled into the game with a two and a single on consecutive ends. After a number of singles Packer/Mitchell scored a four on the ninth end and looked to have built a match winning 13-4 lead at the halfway mark.

An answering four on the 10th end by Harris/Biddle put them back in the game at 8-13 but another surge by Packer/Mitchell again saw the lead balloon out to 16-8 with six ends to play. Rather than throw the towel in, Harris/Biddle again reacted with Harris playing a couple of terrific sitting shots to first move the jack towards the boundary and then to remove the Packer draw shot to make four shots.

Going into the last end five shots in front the Packer/Mitchell combination looked to have weathered the storm only to be to see Harris/Biddle produce an all drawn five to force the game to an extra end with the scores locked together at 21-21.

The extra end seesawed both ways before Biddle looked to have played the winning shot from the thirds position leaving Packer with a very difficult shot to win the game. However, as he had done throughout the previous games, Packer stood up when it countered and played a great reaching draw to sit the shot bowl and put his pair through to the final.

The Second Semi final saw Moyle/Whitfield take on Quairading pair Steven Bartlett and Colin Hayes. Bartlett/Hayes had been in tremendous form and were well placed to push their younger opponents. Moyle/Whitfield started strongly winning four of the first six ends but found themselves only up 5-4 after dropping a three.

A returning four on the seventh end for Moyle/Whitfield was the start of solid run of winning ends which would culminate with a five on the eleventh end putting them in control at 17-6. Three winning ends in a row by Bartlett/Hayes got the pair back to 10-18 with two ends to play but in the end the Moyle/Whitfield combination had all the answers, winning the last two ends to take a 22-10 win.

After two such high quality Semi Finals, the very healthy crowd at the Sorrento Bowling Club waited with high expectations for a great final and for the most part they were not disappointed.

On a fast green with a typically healthy breeze at Sorrento, most bowlers would expect there could be some loose heads due to the conditions however the game started and continued throughout with very tight heads and scores at a premium.

Moyle/Whitfield hit the green running with two three’s in the first three ends to lead 6-1 before Packer/Mitchell got their own double and triple to tie the score up at 6-6. All four players started very well with Cody Packer and Ryan Moyle in particular trading blows in the Skip positions.

Another spurt by Moyle/Whitfield saw the lead back out to three before Packer/Mitchell again countered to take the lead 10-9 at the half way mark. The two teams then traded two’s with first Moyle/Whitfield in the lead and then Packer/Mitchell wrestling it back.

It was the twelfth end that turned out to be the championship winning end for Packer/Mitchell. Moyle/Whitfield seemed to do very little wrong when they seemed to have plenty of bowls around a very congested head. However as the thirds started to take the shots out, it became obvious that a large number was about to blow the game open. When the dust had settled, Packer/Mitchell added a big six to their total putting them in command 18-11 with six ends to play.

It was a similar scenario to what they faced in their Semi Final and clearly, they had learnt their lesson very quickly. Moyle/Whitfield took a single on the thirteenth end, but Packer/Mitchell turned the screws and had all the answers to reel off a number of doubles win the 2019-20 Men’s State Pairs title.

The final score line of 26-12 did little justice to a highly entertaining game with both teams playing the game to an extremely high standard. However, in the end you have to have shot when the last bowl of each end is played and Cody Packer and Matthew Mitchell did that on eleven of the seventeen ends played to fully deserve their Pairs title.

Men’s State Pairs Finals Results

Men’s State Pairs Sectional Results