Sydney Lions pounce on their first BPL trophy

Sydney Lions pounce on their first BPL trophy

The BCiB Sydney Lions have become the fourth franchise in four instalments of the Bowls Premier League to win the coveted trophy after a stunning performance last night in their first ever BPL finals campaign. 

BCiB Sydney Lions supporters were starting to wonder if they will ever see their franchise on BPL finals night, but 2016, affectionately now known as the ‘year of the underdog’, was the Lions time to shine on centre stage and not only did they qualify for finals on top of the ladder they claimed the BPL04 trophy in emphatic style, defeating the 2013 Champions the Murray Steamers. 

The Lions overcame a hiccup in the preliminary final, going down in a tie-break to the Murray Steamers in the top of the table clash to secure a ticket directly into the grand final; Sydney was then forced down a more challenging road to the final, with a semi-final clash against the most consistent team in BPL history the Messenger Press Adelaide Endurance. 

The Adelaide Endurance’s Max Kleinig produced something special in the tie-break against the Blundstone Melbourne Roys; forced to save the match with less than two feet, and the jack located in the back corner of the rink, Kleinig tailed the jack for victory to the delight of all the Endurance supporters who gathered in their numbers at Club Pine Rivers. 

The finals atmosphere was starting to build and the crowd had begun to show their allegiance to the Sydney Lions, with the famous Wayne’s Can Bar now filled with Lions supporters. 

It was a tough task for the Adelaide Endurance to overcome an in form pairing of Aron Sherriff and Ben Twist who were sharing the lead and skipping honours brilliantly, with Australia’s most capped international bowler subbing in, and an even tougher task to overcome Lady Luck who guided Ben Twist’s final bowl of the first set in favour of the Lions. 

Adelaide weren’t going down without a fight and provided plenty of shots for the highlights reel in the second set; however Sydney were too strong and were now on a high going into the grand-final.

The Murray Steamers had time to ponder their second BPL grand final appearance having spent a game off the show rink, and perhaps that showed in a slow start from Ellen Ryan and Ryan Bester. 

The killer blow for the Murray Steamers was the five shots to the Sydney Lions on a power play in the second set, doubling to 10 and giving the Lions a six shot advantage going into the last end. 

Bester tried to work his magic with the final bowl but it wasn’t to be and the Sydney Lions could finally start celebrating a near perfect BPL04 campaign. 

Post-match the Sydney Lions contributed their victory to tactics they had stuck with most of the tournament and described the brilliant power play end which secured them the title. 

“Me leading for Ben was going pretty well but in that moment, on that power-play end, when Ben came back into the match we decided to put me back to lead and the first end we got a 10,” said Aron Sherriff. 

“The idea was we had Aron up front for us to get us off to a good start in the all the matches, but it was actually Omar down the sidelines that said do you want to change this, we said yes let’s do this,” said Gary Willis.

“I think we are all a bit stunned that we were actually able to do it, it’s just fantastic,” said a very pleased Sydney Lions Coach Gary Willis.”

Ryan Bester may not have collected his second BPL title but he did claim his first MVP award as voted by the coaches after the 14 round matches. 

Caption- BCiB Sydney Lions have taken out the $100,000 BPL04 in their first ever finals attempt.  

November 22, 2016 / by / in
Sydney Lions top BPL04 field ahead of finals

The $100,000 Bowls Premier finals are upon us with four quality franchises set to do battle on centre stage tonight live on Fox Sports and Sky Sports NZ.

No matter which team take home the ultimate prize, BPL history will be made at Club Pine Rivers tonight. 

It’s been a long wait for the BCiB Sydney Lions and their supporters but Karen Murphy, Ben Twist and Aron Sherriff have delivered in BPL04, taking the Lions to the franchise’s first finals campaign in BPL history. 

It was an agonizing defeat in the final round of BPL03 which cost the Lions making the finals last year; however in 2016 Sydney had well and truly booked their place before the final round and instead battled it out with the Murray Steamers for top spot. 

Sydney Lions defeated Murray Steamers in straight sets, 5-4, and 7-3; however the pair will meet again tonight in the semi-final at 6:15pm with the winner progressing directly to the grand-final, the loser receiving a second chance against the winner of the elimination final.  

The Murray Steamers have looked the team to beat from the half way mark of the competition with their star recruit, Canadian representative Ryan Bester, not only guiding the Moama Bowling Club’s franchise to a finals berth, but putting himself right into contention for BPL04 MVP. 

A victory to the Murray Steamers tonight would not only secure Michael Walker, Ellen Ryan and Ryan Bester a share in the $30,000 first prize, but would write the Steamers into the record books as the only franchise in BPL history to win dual titles, a remarkable feat having only been involved in three instalments of the revolutionary tournament. 

Another fairy tale is brewing in BPL04 with perennial bridesmaids the Messenger Press Adelaide Endurance qualifying for their fourth consecutive finals appearance. 

The last round of the competition saw two team vying for the last finals spot with the New Zealand Blackjacks needing a victory over the Crown Perth Suns, and for the local franchise the Brisbane Pirates to finish their tournament on a high with a win over the Blundstone Melbourne Roys to give the defending champions a hope in BPL04. 

The first set panned out well for the New Zealand Blackjacks winning their first; however the match between Melbourne Roys and Brisbane Pirates was out of their control; the Melbourne Roys scored two on a power-play which made it four and a one shot victory in their opener. 

New Zealand again jumped out to a lead in the second set and managed to hold on for a 7-4 win, so then it was nervous times for the Melbourne Roys who were trying to overcome the local franchise being boosted by a jovial home crowd.  

It came down to a tie-break in the Roys and Pirates match; great leading from Aaron Wilson, backed up by perfect position bowls by Dylan Fisher was enough to hold on as Natasha Scott’s running shots narrowly missed on each side of the head. 

Adelaide Endurance will have to stomach an elimination final with Melbourne Roys at 5:00pm tonight with the loser being eliminated from the competition. 

New Zealand Blacks conclude their title defence with a fifth place finish in BPL04 after a gallant fight back to put themselves back into contention after four straight loses on day one. 

The Crown Perth Suns had another great Bowls Premier League but unfortunately for the Sandgropers they weren’t able to replicate their brilliance on the television rink during the day matches at Club Pine Rivers and finished the tournament with five wins and nine loses.

The Queensland franchises round out the field after disappointing BPL04 campaigns but will no doubt bounce back for BPL05 when it heads across the ditch to Auckland on February 27. 

To view the final standings and results from today’s matches click here

Elimination Final (3vs4) 5:00pm
Adelaide Endurance vs Melbourne Roys

Semi-Final (1vs2) 6:15pm
Sydney Lions vs Murray Steamers

Preliminary Final (Loser of semi-final vs winner of elimination final) 7:30pm

Final (winner of semi-final vs winner of preliminary final) 8:45pm

Caption- Sydney Lions top the field whilst the Steamers, Endurance and Roys will join the Lions in tonight’s finals

November 11, 2016 / by / in
Blackjacks surging in BPL04

The TOWER New Zealand Blackjacks have kept their finals hopes alive, after winning five consecutive games on days two and three of BPL04.

Starting day one on a low, the Defending BPL Champions took some time settling back into the fast paced format, losing all four of their matches and finding themselves on the bottom of the ladder after four sectional rounds on day one.

However day two brought about a resurgence in the Blackjacks camp, resulting in three tie-break victories during their day matches against the Murray Steamers, Crown Perth Suns and Messenger Press Adelaide Endurance. 

In the evening, the Blackjacks showed why they’re such a threatening side, defeating the BCiB Sydney Lions in straight sets live on Fox Sports 3 and Sky Sports NZ; securing their place in the top four. 

The Blackjacks dream run came to an end after five consecutive victories, and after making their way back into the top four they have just dropped back out to fifth heading into their match-up with the third placed Adelaide Endurance tonight on Fox Sports and Sky Sport NZ. 

The BCiB Sydney Lions are the only franchise to have never made it into the BPL finals, yet BPL04 may prove to be a different story, with only three losses on the board, they are currently sitting in second place equal on wins with the Steamers. 

Tonight the Lions come up against the Crown Perth Suns who have produced some of their best bowls under the spotlight of live television, remaining undefeated in their TV matches to date. 

With Coach Wayne Turley’s rent-a-crowd in tonight, a group of spectators from the Taren Point Bowling Club in Sydney who have adopted Turley’s side for BPL04, the momentum behind the Suns will be hard for the Lions to break. 

With tonight’s Pirate theme here at Club Pine Rivers, the Brisbane Pirates will need to muster all the support they can get when they face the top-of-the-table Murray Steamers. 

The Murray Steamers have been clinical in BPL04 to date and are charging to their second finals, hoping to replicate their performance in 2013 when they lifted the trophy. 

Another match which will impact a team’s final hopes is the Melbourne Roys and Gold Coast Hawks tonight at 6:15pm. 

The Gold Coast Hawks are yet to find their best form in BPL04 but find themselves playing against the Melbourne Roys who are sitting fourth in the standings after two loses today dropped them out of the top two. 

Round 12 matches live on Fox Sports 3 and Sky Sports NZ are- 

Messenger Press Adelaide Endurance vs TOWER New Zealand Blackjacks

Blundstone Melbourne Roys vs Gold Coast Hawks

BCiB Sydney Lions vs Crown Perth Suns

Brisbane Pirates vs Murray Steamers

November 10, 2016 / by / in
Dickson and Ryan paving the way for female bowlers

The fourth instalment of the Bowls Premier League has stepped up another notch this year, with the addition of one female competitor to each franchise to add to the revolutionary competition at Club Pine Rivers in Brisbane. 

Spearheaded by the past involvement of national players including Australian Jackaroos captain Lynsey Clarke, Australia’s most capped international player Karen Murphy, as well as the world number one, New Zealand’s Jo Edwards; the calibre of talent is only rising at this year’s $100,000 competition.  

21-year-old Breeanna Dickson is the most recent recruit to the Messenger Press Adelaide Endurance with an extensive resume including the title of being the first female South Australian to represent Australia at the Development Trans-Tasman series in 2014. 

Another player making her BPL debut is the former Australian Open Singles Champion and current Australian Jackaroo, 19-year-old Ellen Ryan who is the young gun bowler from Cabramatta joining the BPL02 Champions, the Murray Steamers.  

“It’s a really tough competition, and obviously it’s the best in Australia,” said Dickson.

“It’s great to be a part of the best competition in Australia,” said Ryan.

With televised matches every night of the competition on Fox Sports 3 and Sky Sports NZ, the electric atmosphere of live television will provide the stage for these young ladies, who will be front and centre on screens across Australia and New Zealand; competing to win the coveted BPL trophy. 

“I think it’s good to showcase both men and women in lawn bowls; it’s great to have the girls out there playing with the men,” said Dickson.

In line with the changing face of the sport, #BPL04 hopes to inspire the next generation of lawn bowlers with the fast-paced, energetic and inclusive game, presenting where a future career in lawn bowls could lead to.

“It shows that girls are just as good as the guys, and it’s good to be able to prove that to the bowls community and the non-bowls community,” said Ryan. 

“It’s good that females are involved, as well as young people like myself to show that the sport is not just an old person sport.”

“Hopefully it will encourage a few more females to come down to their nearest bowling club and have a bit of a roll,” said Dickson. 

Follow BPL04 live score updates on Bowls Australia’s Facebook page during the day games, and live on Fox Sports 3 in Australia and Sky Sports in New Zealand during the evenings from 5:00pm AEST. 

Caption- Breeana Dickson and Ellen Ryan. along with the other six BPL04 female competitors are paving the way for females in bowls

November 9, 2016 / by / in
Endurance and Roys BPL04 front runners

The first day of the Bowls Premier League has been everything we were expecting and there’s more to come with tonight’s round four matches set to conclude the opening days play in style live on Fox Sports 3 and Sky Sports NZ. 

Front runners have emerged with the Messenger Press Adelaide Endurance and Blundstone Melbourne Roys sharing the honours at the top of the leader board with three consecutive victories. 

Adelaide Endurance commenced their day with a straight sets win over the Crown Perth Suns and it was their new recruit Breeana Dickson who settled into BPL competition with ease, setting the platform from the front with a faultless performance. 

It was Max Kleinig who stole the show in their second round victory over the BCiB Sydney Lions with a shot for the highlights reel with his final bowl of the tie-break; delivering it inches from the ditch to steal the match from the Lions grasp. 

It was then Wayne Ruediger’s time to shine in the tie-break against the Gold Coast Hawks delivering a stunning drive, clearing the three nearest bowls to complete Adelaide’s dream start to BPL04. 

The Blundstone Melbourne Roys were rock solid through the opening three matches; Tiffany Brodie, Dylan Fisher and Aaron Wilson put teams on notice as a franchise to fear in BPL04 with victories over the Murray Steamers, Brisbane Pirates and defending champions New Zealand Blackjacks.

The New Zealand Blackjacks title defence has taken a hit on day one with a bottom of the table dwelling courtesy of defeats by the Melbourne Roys, Perth Suns and Sydney Lions. 

The opportunity to get their tournament back on track will come tonight against the Gold Coast Hawks in the first match up tonight on the TV rink.  

The Gold Coast Hawks are currently sitting fourth on the ladder just behind the Murray Steamers who only dropped one match today. 

Canadian representative and Australian Bowler of the Year Ryan Bester was at his best today for the Murray Steamers with plenty of notable drives that we have come to expect from the Commonwealth Games silver medallist. 

The second match up tonight at 6:15pm AEST between the Murray Steamers and Adelaide Endurance has the potential to be the match of the round with both teams having stand out performances today. 

The Sydney Lions can end their day in the same fashion they started with a victory in tonight’s television match; but standing in their way are the inform Melbourne Roys who we know from last year’s BPL, shine under the spotlight here at Club Pine Rivers. 

The Perth Suns have the tough task of defeating the home town favourites the Brisbane Pirates on centre stage tonight but their confidence will have grown after defeating the Sydney Lions in straight sets in round three. 

Round four matches live on Fox Sports 3

TOWER New Zealand Blackjacks vs Gold Coast Hawks

Messenger Press Adelaide Endurance vs Murray Steamers

BCiB Sydney Lions vs Blundstone Melbourne Roys

Brisbane Pirates vs Crown Perth Suns

Caption- Adelaide Endurance and Melbourne Roys stand out on day one of BPL04 at Club Pine Rivers. 

November 9, 2016 / by / in