#BPL11: World’s best descend on Moama
The sport’s most revered entertainment product arrives at Moama Bowling Club for the very first time, with the eleventh staging of the Bowls Premier League (BPL).
A club rich in bowls history on the New South Wales and Victoria border, Moama has undergone multi-million dollar renovations in recent years, with the construction of their undercover facility the shining light of their investment.
Home of the Murray Steamers, the club will be hoping to continue where Queensland’s Club Pine Rivers left off at the competitions’ last meeting at BPL10, which was once again a wonderful week of bowls matched by an electric atmosphere in the stands.
On the back of their debut title-winning performance, the Tweed Heads Ospreys are suddenly the hunted.
After entering BPL10 as a rather unknown quantity, alongside the Melbourne Pulse and Adelaide Pioneers, the Ospreys will now have higher expectations of themselves and from the rest of the competition, which makes BPL11 such an intriguing prospect for the expansion teams.
Elsewhere, the home team has made the most significant personnel changes in a bid for their first title since the second instalment of the BPL, with Jo Edwards and home-town hero Michael Walker replacing the unavailable Ellen Ryan and player-turned- coach, David Ferguson.
Perth has made the only other notable change, with the also unavailable Pieter Harris replaced in the coaches’ chair by astute tactician and a man well known to West Australian bowlers, Ross Dempsey.
The evenness and unpredictability of the BPL was best highlighted by the Ospreys rise from cellar-dwellers to champions at BPL10, rising from last on the ladder after two rounds to finishing in first place.
Despite not making the finals last time out, the Melbourne Roys, Brisbane Pirates, Murray Steamers and Adelaide Pioneers are well-equipped to stake their claim for the top four this time around, with the Ospreys’ BPL10 roadmap a lesson to all at how quickly things can change in this cut-throat competition.
The Sydney Lions will still be reeling from their defeat to the Ospreys in the competition’s most recent decider, with the match over in such a flash after the Lions were originally the first team to book their place in the final. Expect them to hit Moama with redemption in mind, while for the other BPL10 finalists in the Melbourne Pulse and Perth Suns, they’ll be looking to go that one better in shoring up a top-two spot and the double-chance.
Ultimately, despite each team’s claim as a potential BPL finalist, eight cannot go into four and so the race will be on in Moama.
Who will first out the blocks? Who will adjust to the surface and the style of play required? Who will hold their nerve when it’s all on the line?
We can’t wait to find out.
The BPL is staged biannually, at Queensland’s Club Pine Rivers in November and New South Wales and Victoria border club Moama in February.
Bowls Premier League 11 – #BPL11
February 25-28, 2020
Moama Bowling Club, NSW
Day Sessions: From 11am AEDT (Stream via Bowls Australia Facebook)
Night Sessions: From 5pm AEDT (Watch live via Fox Sports, Kayo Sports & Sky Sport NZ)
Adelaide Pioneers: Wayne Ruediger, Scott Thulborn, Bec Van Asch (Coach – Les Carter)
Brisbane Pirates: Alex Marshall, Michael Breen, Kelsey Cottrell (Dave Edwards)
Melbourne Pulse: Gary Kelly, Barrie Lester, Natasha Scott (Rob Wilson)
Melbourne Roys: Aaron Wilson, Matt Flapper, Carla Krizanic (Ian Ewing)
Murray Steamers: Ryan Bester, Michael Walker*, Jo Edwards* (David Ferguson*)
Perth Suns: Lee Schraner, Cody Packer, Kristina Krstic (Ross Dempsey*)
Sydney Lions: Aron Sherriff, Ben Twist, Karen Murphy (Steve Glasson)
Tweed Heads Ospreys: Aaron Teys, Kurt Brown, Chloe Stewart (Wayne Turley)