Hailey Packer Grabs Centre Stage

by Pieter Harris

The Western Australian Women’s State Singles concluded at the Bassendean Bowling Club on Sunday with magnificent bowls played in both the Semi-Finals and Final.

The first Semi-Final saw Hailey Packer (Manning) take to the green against Jenny Parker (Mosman Park). Both ladies started strongly going shot for shot for the first seven ends leading to a 4-4 scoreline. Packer was then able to string together three winning ends in a row to open up a small lead. Parker fought back with two of her own but then Packer went again winning another four ends to lead 16-6. A couple of two’s and a three saw Parker fight back again but it wasn’t enough as Hailey Packer finished the game off with a four and a single over the last three ends to win 25-14.

The second Semi-Final saw two Mosman Park teammates battle it out. Both Lisa Featherby and Kerry Andersen have won many state titles over the years but neither had been able to grab the elusive singles title. Featherby started strongly to go 3-0 up and was then able to hold a similar lead for much of the first half of the game, 8-5 after nine ends, 11-8 after thirteen ends, and 16-13 after twenty-one ends. First Andersen would get a little closer and then Featherby would stretch the lead a little further and Andersen would reel it back in. For much of the game, Featherby could not break the rope of the looming Andersen shadow, as Andersen continually made her opponent come up with the big shot. After the twenty-second end, Andersen had closed it back up to a single shot and looked like she might finally have been able to find the front. But Featherby was not to be denied and got a three back to lead 19-15 and then finally broke that rope to close it out quickly with a two, a one, and a three to win 25-15.

Due to the heat of the day, the start of the final was delayed for approximately an hour but when they got started Hailey Packer jumped out of the blocks to lead 4-0 over Lisa Featherby. Featherby quickly found her feet and hit back with a couple of scores but Packer always looked more likely to win the end even when she didn’t. A couple of two’s put Packer up 8-3 and then they went shot for shot until the scoreline showed Packer still in front 12-9.

The next five ends were all Packer’s with a two and a three bordering three singles to jump the lead out to 20-9. A quick finish to the game looked likely as Featherby struggled with consistency and was just hanging in there. However as sometimes can happen, a good shot by a player and a loose end by their opponent can fill players with confidence. Featherby started to make inroads slowly and after winning three ends in a row, you could see some belief return. At 21-13 it still seemed unlikely the way Packer was playing and at 22-15 it was still a long way back for Featherby, but a four and then a one put the score at 22-20 and it was game on. A single to Packer kept her opponent at bay but for only one end as Featherby grabbed a three to make the scoreline of 23-23. Holding her nerve, Hailey Packer finished off Lisa Featherby’s resurgence by taking a two and grabbing her first WA Women’s State Singles Championship 25-23.