Blues clinch Super 6 honours
The NSW Blues have put the finishing touches on a scintillating Super 6 campaign in Bendigo today, claiming three of the six gold medals on offer and signalling their intentions to push for glory at next week’s Australian Sides Championships.
St Johns Park star Kelsey Cottrell commenced the Blues’ golden campaign, clinching the blue-ribbon singles title in a shoot-out with her Jackaroos World Championships gold medal teammate Rebecca Quail, 21-19.
“I’ve played Bec a few times and it’s been a similar situation, I’ve got out to a bit of a lead, but she is a gritty player, she always come back so I was ready for it,” Cottrell said after claiming the silverware.
“I dropped a lot of ones so I wasn’t overly concerned, but then a big 4 shots came along and I started to get a little bit worried.
“We know so much about each other, we don’t necessarily have any game tactics against each other, we just play to our strengths.
“Bec is a pretty good all-round player, so I know that I have to be at my best when facing her, and luckily today I got out to a good start and managed to hold on.
“The greens here at Bendigo are fantastic, there are four greens here and they are all running really well and the City itself is great, it’s a really nice place to come to.”
Replicating Cottrell’s success on the green were the women’s triples team of former Scottish international Kay Moran, former Australian Indoor Championships winner Katrina Wright and Jackaroos member Natasha Van Eldik, who secured the gold medal over Queensland’s Natasha Jones, Pamela Rowe and Louise Witton 23-14.
The state’s third gold came courtesy of the undefeated men’s triples line-up of Ray Pearce, Ben Twist and Australian squad member Shane Garvey, who toppled host state Victoria 15-11.
Claiming the coveted men’s singles silverware was the ACT’s Andrew Howie, who last month donned the green and gold for the first time in the Trans Tasman development team.
Howie came out blazing in the decider, downing former Australian representative Anthony Kiepe 21-12 to secure his states only golden medallion.
“I’m stoked to have even made the final, and over the moon to have got up,” Howie said after his victory.
“I had a very tight day yesterday, I lost to Mark Casey in the afternoon 21-20, but on aggregate I was fortunate enough to get through to the final.
“Pretty much whoever nailed the jack with their first bowl were winning the ends and I was sort of off a little bit but I picked up my game and eventually did start drawing them close and gradually built the head.”
Tasmania and Queensland’s perseverance was rewarded, with the Tigers’ 16 year-old Michael Sims and Robert McMullen taking out the men’s pairs discipline, while Queensland’s Australia A squad member Kristy Thatcher and Jackaroos captain Lynsey Armitage securing the women’s equivalent by the slimmest of margins against NSW, 14-13.
Bowls Australia’s 2013 Hall of Fame and Awards Night will be staged in front of a capacity crowd at the Bendigo Town Hall tonight, honouring 10 of the year’s most deserving athletes and administrators for their outstanding achievements, while also recognising four individuals contribution to the sport over a prolonged period of time with induction into the Hall of Fame.
Each state and territory will now enjoy a one day respite before the Australian Sides Championships begin on Monday.
Featuring the top-12 men and women from each and every state and territory across the nation, the Australian Sides Championships will be played over four action packed days from April 29, with play commencing at 9.00am and 2.00pm daily with free admission.