Fairytale complete for Thornton and Lester in claiming $10,000 Men’s Pairs title
Victorian pair Josh Thornton (East Shepparton, VIC) and Barrie Lester (Mulgrave Country Club, VIC) have made history in claiming the coveted Men’s Pairs final Victorian pair Josh Thornton (East Shepparton, VIC) and Barrie Lester (Mulgrave Country Club, VIC) have made history in claiming the coveted Men’s Pairs final against a gallant Wayne Ruediger (Grange, SA) and Scott Thulborn (Adelaide, SA) 19-12,
Jackaroo Lester, who had been runner-up at an Australian Open on six occasions finally etched his name into the history books and fittingly it will be written next to his good friend and Australian Para-Sport representative Joshua Thornton.
Lester’s great form carried through to the Australian Open where he came into the event as Australia’s number one ranked bowler, and together with his team mate, the pair had the perfect preparation leading into the $250,000 World’s Biggest Bowls Festival, representing Australia in the Trans-Tasman and Gold Coast Multi-Nations in the days leading prior.
For Thornton, this victory is extra sweet as he joins Tiffany Brodie as the only Para Sport athletes who have captured an Open discipline in recent memory, and will provide a significant boost to his chances of selection in the Australian 2018 Commonwealth Games squad as a Para Sport athlete.
Ruediger and Thulborn were gunning for their third consecutive Australian Open titles, albeit in different disciplines, and the pair certainly put up a fight with only 7 shots separating them at the conclusion of a great TV match. However, after trailing by only one shot after 11 ends Thornton and Lester pulled away late to secure the $10,000 prize.
Needing a six on the last end to keep the match alive, Ruediger and Thulborn has a small opening until Lester’s opening bowl as skip nestled comfortably in between the South Australia’s two shot bowls and the final four bowls of the match were not required.
Today’s match was broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports 505 and will be shown on SBS’ The Bowls Show in coming weeks!