NSW Blues clinch Alley Shield
NSW has wrapped up its Australian Sides Championships campaign one day early, securing the coveted Alley Shield with an unassailable lead in Bendigo tonight.
The Blues established an impregnable position after extending their unbeaten streak to six, edging out Victoria in this morning’s encounter 60-53, and bundling out defending champions Queensland in the penultimate rubber 52-47 to seal their sixth Shield in 11 years.
South Australia remained in contention up until the sixth round, but failed to overcome host state Victoria 52-6 to keep their hopes alive of claiming their first silverware since 1988.
Whilst dropping the match on overall points, Victoria’s two rink wins assured them of a second place finish, ahead of South Australia and Queensland who will encounter Tasmania and Northern Territory respectively in the deciding round tomorrow, with the matches destined to help decide the Overall Winners Trophy.
The Blues men will look to finish the time-honoured competition without a blemish to its name tomorrow when it takes on ACT in the final encounter.
It’s a different story in the battle for the Marj Morris Trophy, with three states still remaining in the hunt.
Titleholders NSW, host state Victoria and somewhat of a surprise-packet ACT will all enter the ultimate round with a loose grip on the prized silverware, with a final round encounter between NSW and ACT looming ominously.
The seventh and final round of the Australian Sides Championships will commence at Bendigo Bowls Club from 9.00am tomorrow morning.
Click here for more information and full results from the 2013 Australian Sides Championships.
Caption: Australian Jackaroo Shane Garvey has helped skip NSW to its sixth Alley Shield in 11 years.