Blockbuster showdowns booked as Men’s Pairs down to four and Women’s Pairs down to eight
Lester and Thornton’s golden run continues as a last-gasp victory over 2015 champions sets up blockbuster semi final Australian Jackaroo Barrie Lester (Mulgrave, VIC) and Australian Para Sport squad member Josh Thornton (East Shepparton, VIC) have secured a spot in the Men’s Pairs semi final courtesy of a nail biting last-end win over 2015 champions Robbie Wild (Pine Rivers, QLD) and Sean Baker (Hamilton, QLD).
Trailing by two shots going into the final end, some spectacular lead bowls by Thornton saw the Victorian combination holding five with only Baker’s final bowl to come; Baker was on target, but only removed two to give Lester and Thornton a one shot victory.
The Victorians have now set up a blockbuster semi-final against two former Victorian guns, with now Tasmanian Lee Schraner (Rosny Park) and Geoff Maskell (Paradise Point, QLD) overcoming Kingscliff pairing Steve Massey and Paul Watson by a single shot, triumphing 16-15. This match will be shown on Rinkside Live tomorrow, beginning approximately 2:30pm.
On the other half of the draw, one half of the two-time defending Men’s Fours champions remains in the hunt for the coveted Pairs title, with Wayne Ruediger (Grange, SA) and Scott Thulborn (Adelaide, SA) defeating the highly fancied young Cabramatta pairing of Corey Wedlock and Billy Johnson, winning 13-12 in another one shot margin. They will be looking to repeat the heroics of the other half of that Fours team, after Nathan Pedersen and Steven Dennis took out the title last year.
They will face the Australian Defence Force pairing of Phil Black (ACT) and Sam Pryor (SA), who had the most comfortable journey through to the semi final after defeating Moorooka pair Peter Ward and Billy Mitilinios 21-4; Pryor in particular will know his opponents well, being a regular at South Australian club Henley.
Other highly fancied pairings faltered this morning in the round of 16, with international pairing of Ryan Bester and Gary Lawson (Broadbeach, QLD) bowing out to Schraner’s pair 16-12, while Scottish World Champions Paul Foster and Alex Marshall were defeated by Wedlock and Johnson 19-15.
Both Men’s Pairs semi-finals will be played tomorrow at approximately 2:30pm, with the final to be shown LIVE on Fox Sports 505 on Thursday, beginning at around 2:00pm.
It was generally smoother sailing for the big names in the Women’s Pairs, with the biggest casualties being the pairing of Scottish international Kay Moran and Australian legend Karen Murphy bowing out in a difficult matchup against defending champions Anne Johns (St Johns Park, NSW) and Rebecca Van Asch (Invermay, TAS) 18-16.
Van Asch and Johns will have their eye on a back-to-back triumph but face a tough matchup against South Africans Nici Neal and Esme Kruger, while the headline matchup looks to be the clash between last year’s runners-up Ellen Ryan (Cabramatta, NSW) and Julie Keegan (Broadbeach, QLD) and Australian veterans Kelsey Cottrell (St Johns Park, NSW) and Lynsey Clarke (Club Helensvale, QLD).
Both Men’s Pairs semi-finals will be played tomorrow at approximately 2:30pm, with the final to be shown LIVE on Fox Sports 505 on Thursday, beginning at around 2:00pm. The Women’s Pairs quarter-finals kick off tomorrow morning from 9:00am.
Click here to see today’s Men’s Pairs full results and fixtures for tomorrow’s matches.
Click here to see today’s Women’s Pairs full results and fixtures for tomorrow’s matches.