Victorian foursome unflappable in Australian Championships

by Aidan Davis

The fours combination of Jordan Yates, Darren Burgess, Jay Bye-Norris and Anthony Flapper flew the flag high for Victorians at the Australian Championships giving their supporters plenty to cheer about when they defeated a strong New South Wales line-up in a cracking men’s fours final last night at Club Sapphire.

Josh Berry, Mat Pietersen, Nathan Wise and Ben Twist from St Johns Park (NSW) were gallant in defeat and could do nothing more than simply acknowledge the outstanding play their opponents had brought to the gold medal match.

Yates, Burgess and Bye-Norris laid the platform for the Big V, getting the Victorian side off to the best possible start, but as we see often, it was their skipper Anthony Flapper who left the lasting memories on the titanic final.

On the penultimate end Flapper, in true Flapper style, opened up the shoulders and drove New South Wales’ closest shot bowl out of the head, leaving the Victorians holding four and a strangle hold on the match.

With a three shot advantage playing the last end, the Victorian’s made every post a winner, counter-acting everything the Blues threw at them.

Ben Twist had nothing left to do than try and kill the end, and when his final bowl missed marginally wide, the Victorians both on the green and in the stands begun their celebrations.

Having trailed for most of the match, the victory will have been more satisfying having to fight their way back into the match.

The women’s fours final was happening on the rink next door and whilst the game was played with less aggression, it certainly wasn’t lacking in quality.

South Australia and Western Australia were going shot for shot in the early stages of the match, before the experience of the Sandgropers, Laura Merz, Robyn O’Brien, Therese Hastings and Helen Morss kicked in and they started to open up their lead.

Whilst the scoreboard was starting to favour the West Aussie’s, the South Australians were not giving up and had chances appearing to get themselves back into the match.

Helen Morss, as she had done all day, was solid under pressure and played some telling shots in the middle stages of the match to keep a grasp on the gold.

Merz and O’Brien were silver medallist in the triples on day one, but today was their day.

In the bronze medal playoffs, the Australian Capital Territory won their first medal of the championships defeating the ladies from Queensland, whilst in the men’s playoff, Queensland snatched victory from the Northern Territory on the final end, scoring four shots to win by one.

Today all singles action has commenced at Club Sapphire with the favourites for the title, Carla Krizanic (VIC), Ray Pearse (NSW) and Lee Schraner (TAS) all securing victories in the opening round.

To watch the men’s and women’s fours final click here. 

Men’s Gold Medal Match- 
Jordan Yates, Darren Burgess, Jay Bye-Norris and Anthony Flapper (Essendon, VIC) defeated Josh Berry, Mat Pietersen, Nathan Wise and Ben Twist (St Johns Park, NSW) 16-12

Women’s Gold Medal Match- 
Laura Merz, Robyn O’Brien, Therese Hastings and Helen Morss (Manning Memorial, WA) defeated Barbara Maiden, Chris Keller, Anne Onto and Fiona McGregor (Hawthorn, SA) 16-7

Men’s Bronze Medal Match-
Darren Christie, Reed Burgess, Sam White and Sean Ingham (Composite, QLD) defeated Mark Malogorski, Ian Smith, Graeme Kitto and Tristan Smallacombe (Darwin, NT) 15-14

Women’s Bronze Medal Match- 
Kristen Steele, Sharon Steele, Margaret Banchetto and Sharon Harmer (Weston Creek, ACT) defeated Val Dunn, Cheryl Hutchinson, Heather Hodgson and Wendy Usher (Composite, QLD) 21-11