Women’s Open Side claim 2023 Marj Morris Trophy and Nationals Gold

by Bowls Australia

The Australian Open Women’s Side had a briliant Nationals campaign which led to the Marj Morris Trophy heading home to Victoria for the first time in 19 years!

On the final day of play, Victoria needed to defeat Tasmania in the final round but were also relying on Queensland to fall victim to the star studded New South Wales lineup.

Australian Open singles champion Cassandra Millerick’s rink was in fine touch against Makayla Gibson’s quartet, clinching a 20-11 win to seal the Victorians’ early lead.

Lisa Phillips’ rink also provided a sensational result for the Big V, overcoming Rae Simpson’s rink 23-20 to ensure the state’s buffer to their southern counterparts.

The only blemish for Victoria came as former Right at Home Jackaroo Rebecca Van Asch and her squad overcame Samantha Atkinson’s rink 17-16.

However, it was enough for Victoria to send the pressure across to the battling Queensland who were under enormous pressure.

Needing to defeat the defending champions of New South Wales to regain the title for the first time since 2017, things got off to a rocky start for the maroon side as Natasha Van Eldik’s rink stormed away early before taking a 31-8 win over Chloe Stewart’s team.

Kelsey Cottrell rebounded in style however, securing a dominant 35-13 salutation against an Ellen Ryan skipped unit.

This left it all up to Lynsey Clarke’s squad to defeat Dawn Hayman by two to clinch the championship.

It was tense throughout the entire affair, with Hayman’s team holding sway for the majority, eventually clinching a 22-21 win to seal a 66-64 win for New South Wales and break Queensland hearts.

The defeat saw Victoria victorious for the first time since 2004, concluding a 19-year wait to take home a fourth Marj Morris trophy.

New South Wales leapfrogged Queensland into second, further rubbing salt into the maroon wounds, while Western Australia finished a strong campaign in fourth.

The ACT came in fifth ahead of South Australia, while the Northern Territory concluded in seventh ahead of Tasmania.

There was some respite for Queensland, with Candace AytonPamela Rowe, Bolivia Millerick and Cottrell claiming the overall rink honours.