BPL19 by the numbers

by Val Febbo on February 27, 2024

With the dust settling on BPL19, it is clear that the week in Moama has produced one of the finest Bowls Premier Leagues to date.

Plenty of records were broken or set, with history made on a number of fronts throughout a glorious week on the Murray.

Take a look at some of the weird and wonderful stats from the tournament.

Tenth MVP winner

It was history for the MVP award as Gary Kelly of the Melbourne Pulse became the tenth bowler at the BPL to claim the honour.

In one of the closest counts the tournament has seen, Kelly was able to pull ahead of the chasing pack thanks to consistently sublime performances across the 18 rounds that saw his squad leap into the finals in second position.

The award comes after a brilliant 2023 campaign on the international stage where Kelly would clinch a gold medal in the men’s pairs at the World Bowls Championships before earning a silver in the singles.

Three-time champions

The Melbourne Pulse became just the fourth franchise to notch up three BPL titles, following in the footsteps of the Sydney Lions, Tweed Heads Ospreys and Moama Steamers.

What is more impressive is that the Dandenong Club franchise are undefeated in grand finals, having won all three that they have contested.

In November, the team will be vying to equal the record of four championships set by the Ospreys and Lions.

Whether it’s Aron or Aaron, it doesn’t matter

One of the more bizarre records of the event is the Aron/Aaron appearances within the All Star team.

In the six teams that have been revealed, just one of them is yet to feature someone with the name of Aron/Aaron.

That was BPL16 where Corey Wedlock, Rebecca Van Asch and Kelly featured in the competition’s elite team.

Aaron Wilson continued the bizarre tradition at BPL19 with his appearance in the team for the second time in his career with Aron Sherriff and Aaron Teys also featuring prominently at previous competitions.

Highest and lowest scoring matches

BPL19 also saw the highest and lowest scoring matches in event history, breaking records that had not been eclipsed for 16 or more editions of the tournament.

The highest scoring contest came in the semi final when the Pulse and Lions combined for a grand total of 42 shots, eclipsing the old record of 40 set by the Gold Coast Hawks and Adelaide Endurance in APL03.

Two matches were able to break the record for the lowest scoring contest with a measly 12 shots scored throughout each encounter.

The Adelaide Pioneers edged out the Melbourne eXtreme in round 14, while the Perth Suns conquered the Ospreys in round 10.

It broke the previous record of 13 by one shot, equalled on seven occasions with the first coming in APL02 between the Suns and Pirates.

Highest scoring set

BPL19 also saw the highest scoring set in the final between the Pulse and Lions, with 27 shots amassed thanks to some sizeable conversions on powerplays.

The tally broke the previous benchmark of 23, set by the eXtreme and Suns, as well as the eXtreme and Pioneers both within a match of each other at BPL16.

Defending champions missing finals

For the first time since BPL15, the defending champions would be unable to reach the finals in their title defence.

The Tweed Heads Ospreys were agonisingly close to progressing to Friday night’s showpiece spectacle, but Tasmania’s Rob McMullen ended their dream with the final delivery of the tiebreak in round 18.

It would be the first time since the Sydney Lions defence in BPL15 where the reigning conqueror would not feature in the top five.

Top three from previous edition missing finals

BPL19 marked the first occasion where the top three from the previous tournament had missed the finals altogether since BPL12 with the Ospreys, eXtreme and Steamers all failing to qualify.

That tournament, in Moama at the start of 2021, saw the Steamers, Melbourne Roys and Lions all miss the prestigious Friday night session after being the dominant forces of BPL11.

Fill in coach sees the Pulse home yet again

With Jeremy Henry having to return home before finals night, Dandenong Club CEO Andrew Breedon-Walton would step in to fill the void.

It would be the second time that the Pulse would need a coaching change ahead of the final night of the competition, with Scott De Jongh taking the reigns ahead of the BPL15 deciding evening.

On both occasions, the Pulse would be crowned the BPL champions.

300 club

Two bowlers moved into the 300 club at the BPL as Aron Sherriff and Ryan Bester reached the milestone on the Murray.

Sherriff was the first to pass the post in his 88th match for the Steamers after 149 games for the Lions and 63 for the Hawks throughout his tenure at the tournament.

Bester would follow in the final round of the event, becoming the first player in BPL history to participate in 300 contests for one franchise.