Favourites starting to firm
The quality contenders are starting to the charge from the pack at the APL The Blundstone Melbourne Roys and XXXX Brisbane Gold are starting to firm as favourites for the $100,000 Australian Premier League after both contingents secured their third victories on the second day of play at Brisbane’s Club Pine Rivers.
The Roys are leading the charge after the conclusion of the fourth rubber, overcoming the Messenger Press Adelaide Endurance 7-5, 2-5, 0-1 after a clutch delivery from Scottish world champion Graeme Archer on the sudden death end knocked the jack into the ditch and then came to rest only millimetres from the edge, with Scott Thulborn’s three remaining bullets unable to dislodge or better it.
The Roys now sit top of the ladder with three wins and 5.5 set points, with local favourites the Gold trailing right on their tail, with only half a set point separating them.
The Gold easily accounted for the Solargain Perth Suns in their encounter, with a 10-4 first set followed by a incredible display of skill when they pinched an 8 shot power play on the penultimate end to record a 12-4 win.
It was a case of better late than never for the BCiB Sydney Lions in round four, with the word class outfit of Steve Glasson OAM, Aron Sherriff and Karen Murphy posting their first victory of the tournament over the then second-placed TOWER New Zealand Blackjacks.
A hard-fought 4-4 first set split was followed up with a comprehensive 10-1 second set, courtesy of a 6 shot power play end to transform a 3-1 lead into 9-1, with only an end remaining.
“We had some team meetings and bonding sessions, we tried everything, but we came out with a new tactic today – one of them including actually getting close to the jack and it seemed to work,” Glasson joked after the match.
“We weren’t devastated by yesterday, its not the start we wanted but this event has a long way to go.
“We have to back that win up with another one, which would basically put us back in contention.
“With 10 games you’re kind of hoping that 3 losses turns around into a majority of wins, so we’re thinking if we can get 5 or 6 wins out of the 10 we will be a chance for the top 4, and then it’s open slather again.”
Round five of the Australian Premier League is underway at Club Pine Rivers, with the Roys pitted against the Gold in the battle for top spot, Blackjacks against Endurance and Suns versus Lions.