Juniors fly the Aussie flag at Trans-Tasman
The host nation have taken the early ascendency at the 2014 WIN Network Trans-Tasman test series following the opening two sessions of play on day one at the Traralgon Bowls Club in Victoria.
Both Australia and New Zealand entered the competition with strong line-ups across all four categories of open, development, under 18 and para-sport teams with the Australian juniors shining brightest on the opening day.
By the time the second session came to a close, each category had completed one full round of eight matches with both men and women completing their singles, pairs, triples and fours while the para-sport team had played two rounds of their matches in the mixed pairs and triples events.
Led by 17-year-old Coolangatta ace Braiden Leese and 16-year-old West Australian Elizabeth Allan in the singles, the Australian under 18 team have not been defeated in the series so far winning seven of the eight matches played and drawing 16 all in the girl’s fours encounter in the early afternoon session.
Leese defeated Temuka’s Keanu Darby 21-11 while Allen overcame Canterbury Bowling Club’s young star Katelyn Inch in the afternoon to set the junior rinks alight following an Australian clean-sweep of victories in the morning session in the pairs and triples disciplines.
Overall the Australian under 18 team hold a 70-shot advantage over their New Zealand counterparts which has enabled the entire to Aussie team to hold a 95 shot overall lead after two rounds.
The New Zealand development team rallied from a slow start in the morning session to arrest an 11-shot overall deficit and convert it into a 5-shot advantage by securing three of four round two rubbers in the singles and fours disciplines in the early afternoon session.
The story of the afternoon belonged to the Australian women’s development team who, with an end to play, stared a 13-17 deficit in the face until the combination of Kristy Thatcher, Chloe Stewart, and South Australian duo Breeanna Dickson and Renee McPharlin delivered a timely blow to New Zealand collecting six shots on the last end to claim the only development team win in the early afternoon session 19-17.
With two wins, a loss and a tie, the Australian para-sport team have met a determined and skilful New Zealand opponent but have still enjoyed two significant wins in the Vision Impaired Mixed Pairs with 22-9 and 18-4 victories while the Bowlers with a Disability team have had two much tighter encounters with a 12 all equaliser and an 11-14 defeat added to their score cards already today.
Two losses and six wins, including both singles rubbers, has Australia leading New Zealand in the open category by 28 shots overall after the first two rounds.
Ettalong Memorial’s Aron Sherriff and St Johns Park’s Kelsey Cottrell battled tricky conditions and two of New Zealand’s best competitors when the windy conditions intensified but overcame their formidable opponents in Shannon McIlroy and Jo Edwards respectively to both record 21-14 victories.
“First and foremost we want to win this series but the conditions were excellent for we want as a solid preparation for the Commonwealth Games,” Sherriff said.
“The conditions changed a bit between sessions so we’ve just got be switched on all game for every bowl really.
“Shannon’s a great draw shot player so you have to make the most of your opportunities, we’ve played a lot against each other from juniors right through to seniors and we know each other well so I’m looking forward to the next couple of days,” Sherriff said.
The final session of play on day one is due to conclude around 5pm. A report on the day’s final session will be distributed by 6pm.
For up-to-date 2014 WIN Network Trans-Tasman results, click here