More than 190 of the nation’s premier bowlers are set to descend upon the pristine greens of Adelaide’s Lockleys Bowling Club early next month for the coveted Australian Sides Championships.
The Championships is the sport’s premier state versus state competition, with 12 men and 12 women from each State and Territory set to contest the annual, time-honoured tournament across four days from April 6 to 9.
Adelaide is no stranger to hosting elite bowlers having held the World Bowls Championships in 2012 and the Australian Sides Championships back in 2010.
There’s more than bragging rights on the line when the eight state and territories go head to head at the event, which has an illustrious history dating back to 1959, with three trophies up for grabs.
The revered Alley Shield is awarded to the victorious men’s team, the coveted Marj Morris Trophy is handed to the winning women’s outfit, and the Overall Champions Trophy is bestowed upon the collective winner.
South Australians will be flying high on home soil with their Australian Jackaroos and Bowls Premier League stars Scott Thulborn, Wayne Ruediger, Max Kleinig and Breeana Johnson (nee Dickson) leading the charge for the home-town favourites.
Defending men’s Alley Shield Champions, Victoria has experienced mixed results in the test matches leading up to the prestigious Australian Sides Championships; however as we witnessed last year in the Nation’s Capital, the Big V bring their best when the best is required.
The New South Wales women are looking to extend their history-making winning streak, with their sights set on a sixth consecutive Marj Morris Trophy for their state’s trophy cabinet.
With a host of Australian representatives and up-and-coming young stars in their midst, New South Wales will prove hard to beat yet again, as will the New South Wales men’s team which is stacked full of big name players.
Another powerhouse state Queensland has all the potential to get back into the winner’s circle and have arguably picked the youngest team in their State’s proud history.
Watch out for Australian Open Under-18 Singles runner-up Jessica Srisamruaybai and Australian Under-18 representative Jacob Nelson leading off for the maroons alongside Australia’s best, Lynsey Clarke, Brett Wilkie and Nathan Rice.
Tasmania will be out to cause some upsets, headlined by three-time World Champion Bec Van Asch and former Australian representative Lee Schraner; a man currently very close to the top of the National Rankings.
Spectators are encouraged to take advantage of the free admission at Lockleys Bowling Club to watch the best bowlers in the country going head-to-head in the Australian Sides Championship from April 6 to April 9.