Favourites crash out as the men’s pairs sectional rounds wrap up

by admin

Two highly fancied pairs have become the big casualties of two massive days of men’s pairs, after a total of 432 teams played off for 128 knockout spots. The conclusion of the Australian Open’s men’s pairs sectional rounds has resulted in a who’s who list of big-name casualties, including two teams many of the pundits had pinned as early favourites.

With 432 teams playing off for 128 knockout spots over the past two days, the names of those on the wrong side of the ledger was always going to be length, but it proved to also be illustrious.

Today’s section of death resulted in the elimination of the highly fancied pairs of Helensvale-based Australian Jackaroos stars Brett Wilkie and Nathan Rice as well as the Adelaide Endurance guns and last year’s men’s fours champions Scott Thulborn and Wayne Ruediger – with both duos upstaged by Malaysia’s Zulhilmee Redzuan and Mohammad Fairus Abd Jabal; who remained undefeated during their three sectional rubbers.

Tugun Bowls Club was a hub of activity yesterday, hosting a number of high profile pairings including last year’s champions, Queenslanders Robbie Wild and Sean Baker, who eased into the next round with an unblemished day and a very healthy shot margin of +52.

Other pairs to emerge unscathed out of the southern club included current Jackaroo Ray Pearse and legend Kelvin Kerkow, NSW state representatives Jesse Noronha and David Ferguson and New Zealand pair Mike Reid and Rowan Brassey.

Australian Defence Force pairing Gerard Harkens and Phil Black survived a tough section, trumping the father-son pairing of Steve and Ben Glasson in the morning before winning their remaining two games, although the Glasson pairing racked up a large shot difference and qualified through as a next best qualifier.

Local Queensland legends and father/son combination Alan and Ian Law have also qualified through and now face the unenviable task of taking on the Pearse and Kerkow pairing in round one.

The Australian Open continues tomorrow with the remaining women’s pairs sectional matches and the commencement of the men’s fours.