Underdogs prevail at #AusOpenGC

by admin

The sectional play of the men’s and ladies fours have brought about a number of mixed results across the 8 bowling clubs in action today Eight bowling clubs across the Gold Coast were bursting at the seams today as the men’s and women’s fours event kicked off in the beaming Queensland sunshine. 

The most traditional event in bowls, the ultimate team event, fours, was a much anticipated event on the Australian Open calendar and provided plenty of entertainment on day seven of the world’s biggest festival of bowls. 

Broadbeach Bowling Club drew some of the biggest names in the sport however it was the underdogs that stole the show on a day where the sun was shining brightly over the Gold Coast.  

Commonwealth Games singles gold medallist and Gold Coast legend of the sport Kelvin Kerkow, NSW Representative Ben Twist and QLD Representatives Alex Murtagh and Kurt Brown went into their third and final match of the day heavy favourites after winning their first two matches; however their opposition had different ideas needing to win their third sectional game to secure a spot in the knockout rounds. 

The unknown quantity of Mitchell Weier, Glen Wilson, David Bowles and Criag Ziebel with a Sunshine Coast connection claimed the final showdown 14-10 to provide the biggest upset from their venue today. 

There was a shock first round defeat at Paradise Point for Aron Sherriff’s formidable side occupied by three fellow Australian Jackaroos Matt Baus, Brett Wilkie and Mark Casey who lost by one against Musgrave Hill’s Brian Baldwin.

In a match that had a Trans-Tasman flare, Brian Baldwin, a former New Zealand representative and his team of kiwi born bowlers, pulled off a huge upset against the tournament favourites skipped by the dual International Bowler of the Year Aron Sherriff. 

Defending Women’s Fours Champions, skipped by Australian Captain Lynsey Clarke, Australian Jackaroos Anne Johns and Bec Van Asch and new kid on the block Ellen Ryan set up a showdown with former Queensland representative Gail Waitai and her accomplished team after both sides went into the third and deciding round with two wins a piece. 

Gail Waitai’s side took the early lead 9-2 but the experience of Clarke’s chargers got themselves back into the match levelling the scores; in a top and tail match, Waitai, a Broadbeach local along with Mackie, Brack and Foster prevailed only to set up a next round encounter with some of the world’s best. 

Australia’s most capped international bowler Karen Murphy and her Cabramatta team mates, all former international bowlers in their own right, Kay Moran (SCOT), Julie Keegan (AUS) and Carmen Anderson (NFI) prevailed from section three unscathed to set up a next round showdown with Gail Waitai. 

Despite being unable to win their section today, Sherriff, Kerkow and Clarke will all make it through to the knockout stages as a next best qualifier and have a second chance in the competition when they face up tomorrow morning for the first of the knockout matches. 

Broadbeach stars Sean Ingham and Ryan Bester sailed through their section alongside two former kiwi internationals Gary Lawson, the 2008 Australian Open pairs Champion and current New Zealand Assistant Coach Peter Belliss; a combination that is expected to feature in the finals. 

Helensvale local and Australian representative Nathan Rice had an unblemished day on the greens at Broadbeach Bowls Club with his team of Brisbane city-siders Aaron Hewson, Sean Baker and XXXX Brisbane Gold player Robbie Wild. 

Former world Champion Claire Turley and her team of stars, Kristy Thatcher, Breeana Dickson and Renee McPharlin, went through sectional play with an unblemished record at Club Helensvale registering some of the highest winning margins of the day.

The highly formidable side posted a huge 30-11 victory over Western Australians skipped by Noelene Abe and then backed up with a 29-4 and 25-3 victory in their final matches of the day. 

Australian Jackaroos Natasha Scott, along with Carla Odgers, Samantha Noronha and Natalie Noronha also enjoyed good fortune at Club Helensvale with three comfortable wins. 

Australian National Coach Steve Glasson OAM, his son Ben Glasson, Coolum Beaches Troy Somerville and Mount Lewis’ Fred Ayoub suffered a first round defeat at the hands of Park Beaches Corey Daley however bounced back in the best possible fashion winning their second round match 30-4, and scrapping over the line with a one shot victory on the last end to win their section and advance to the knockout stages. 

All men’s and women’s fours knockout matches commence at 8:30am (8:15am rollup) on Friday June 19 with four rounds of knockout to be completed in both the men’s and women’s disciplines.

Click here to view all the Australian Open results.