Lilydale Bowls Club's team of John Sanders, Troy Stafford and Josh Sanders

Victoria falls short on day one of National Championships

by Bronwyn Slatter

Both the Victorian Men’s and Women’s representative teams in the National Triples Championships had their hopes for gold dashed after day one of the Australian Championships at Club Sapphire in Merimbula.

The Championships commenced on Monday at Club Sapphire and the Triples were the first of the four events to be contested over the four days of competition.

The format for the first event was two bowl triples over 18 live ends. Victoria was represented in the Men’s by the Lilydale Bowls Club’s team of John Sanders, Troy Stafford and Josh Sanders. The trio tried but in the end went down narrowly in their first encounter 14-20 against the Modbury Bowls Club (South Australia).

After a chance to reset the compass, the Vics came out with all guns blazing in Round Two to put their WA counterparts to the sword and register their first win 27-10 and keep their hopes of claiming a final berth alive.

It all came down to their last sectional game against the undefeated team from Cabramatta Bowls Club (NSW). Their mission was simple, win by one and then wait and see if South Australia could win by enough against Western Australia to tip them out of the final.

In Round Three, the Victorians won a very close match against New South Wales 14-12 and advanced to the final to play Queensland by the narrowest of shot margins to contest the gold medal.

The Lilydale trio were out-gunned in the final by the previously undefeated team from Queensland, and they had to be content with a silver medal after going down 11-20 in the decider.

The Women’s Triples team of Shelley Allen, Brooke Edwards and Gayle Edwards from Altona Bowls Club drew their first sectional round match 14-14 against an ACT rink and were then effectively looked out of the championships when they went down gallantly 12-15 against a powerful Western Australia trio skipped by rising Australian Jackaroo star Kristina Krstic.

Victoria’s hopes for a gold medal in the Women’s Triples were dashed after their third-round encounter even though they won their last match against South Australia 23-14. Bad luck on the gold girls!

The Victorian women had to be content with a Bronze Medal playoff against Queensland which we happily report they won in a close contest against Queensland which included a couple of former Victorians in Chloe Stewart and Claire Turley 15-12. Well done Gayle and the team!

Today’s action heads to the Pairs competitions, and Victoria is represented in the Women’s by Leeanne Fitzgerald and Rebecca McMahon from City Colac and by Adrian Marchioli and Nathan Murray from Bundoora RSL Bowls Club.

The Women’s Pairs face strong opposition from Tasmania and the Northern Territory in their section, while the Men’s have to contend with Tasmania and New South Wales in their section.

The Pairs action gets underway at 8.45am EST. Stay up to date by following all the action from the Live-Stream of the National Championships via the Bowls Australia website.