Challengers set on a collision course
The Australian Open’s heavy weights are set to collide in the men’s fours knockout rounds tomorrow. Two more disciplines of knockout round competitors have been decided at the $250,000 Australian Open on the Gold Coast, and plenty of heavy hitters have eased their way into the next stage.
Dual Australian Open bowls with a disability title winner Josh Thornton, Jerome Coles, Wayne Wilson and Australian Jackaroo Barrie Lester eased their way into the elimination rounds with an unblemished record after downing the reigning men’s pairs winners Robbie Wild and Sean Baker, who are led by Mark Thatcher and skipped by international ace Nathan Rice .
In a somewhat cruel twist of fate, the two high profile teams will face each other again in the opening elimination game tomorrow at Musgrave Hill from 9.00am.
Victorian quartet Dane McKinnon, and brothers Cameron, Nathan and Aaron Wilson, the latter two of whom are Australian Open singles champions in their own right, eased their way into the knockout rounds, but face a monumental test first up, in Warilla contingent Jamie Turner, Harley McDonald, Aaron Teys and Jeremy Henry – with Teys the most recent singles champion and Henry a four-time World Cup winner.
This blockbuster encounter occurs at 9.00am tomorrow at Club Helensvale.
Another intriguing match-up will be between Bowls Australia’s Education and Training Coordinator Peter Hanlon, Bowls Australia CEO Neil Dalrymple, international bowlers with a disability representatives Lucas Protopapas and Josh Barry, and Club Merrylands quartet Kepler Wessels – of international cricket fame – Mason Lewis, Michael Clarke and 550 international game South African legend Neil Burkett at Paradise Point.
NSW guns Lee Such, John Green, Wayne Turley and Ali Forsyth joined the winner’s circle, but also have a tough task straight off the bat, in Malaysia’s imports Izzat Shameer Dzulkeple, Mohammad Fairus Abd Jabal, Zulhilmie Redzuan and Mohammad Soufi Rusli, also to occur at Paradise Point.
South Australians Steven Dennis, Nathan Pedersen, Wayne Ruediger and Scott Thulborn also remain in contention to defending their title.
The women’s pairs knockout rounds were also decided, but those qualifiers enjoy a respite until next Tuesday when their elimination matches take place.
Defending champions Emma Brown and Noelene Dutton headline the match-ups, against Tris Doolan and Canadian international Kelly McKerihen at Tugun.
Another scintillating game will be between Australian Jackaroos teammates Cristina Krizanic and Natasha Scott face two former representatives in Sharyn Renshaw and Beth Quinlan.
The men’s fours knockout rounds will commence tomorrow with the rounds of 64, 32 and 16 staged at Broadbeach, Helensvale, Musgrave Hill and Paradise Point.
The Australian Open also continues at Coolangatta, Mermaid Beach, Tugun and Paradise Point with the sectional rounds of the women’s fours.