Seven of the eight national finalists for the BPL Cup have been decided, with state champions crowned in Victoria, NSW and Western Australia over the past weekend.
The grass-roots version of the famous Bowls Premier League has been a resounding success in its first season, with the over 500 from around the country being whittled down to eight state champions, who will play off at the national BPL Cup finals alongside the main Bowls Premier League at Club Pine Rivers in November.
In NSW, twelve teams from across the state converged on the immaculate Club Mount Lewis greens, with big name casualties from the word go as teams from Taren Point and the host club perished early. The final was a see-sawing encounter between Club Merrylands and Evans Head (who had travelled many hours to be at the state final), with a last-bowl attempt by Evans Head skip Luke Evans to take the match into a tiebreak being unsuccessful; the Club Merrylands trio of Michael Clarke, Neil Burkett and Shawn Thompson were crowned BPL Cup state champions.
Newly-announced Melbourne Roys stars Barrie Lester and Carla Krizanic were on hand to witness the BPL Cup Victorian state finals at Fitzroy Victoria Bowls Club, with the sixteen teams whittled down to a final between City of Echuca and Mentone. In the end, a strong performance by Mentone’s team of Ash Rowan, Dale Jones, Brendan McCullum and Paul Webb saw them take out the title in straight sets 6-1, 5-3.
The Western Australian representative for the national finals was also determined over the weekend, with the Osborne Park team of Hailey Adams, Patrick Quinlan, Cody Packer and Lewis Grigg finishing as the runner-up and best-placed club side at the annual Mandurah APL Cup.
With Tasmania, South Australia, ACT and NT having already crowned their state champions in past weeks, only Queensland’s representative at the coveted national finals is yet to be determined. All state finalists will play off in a knockout competition at the national BPL Cup finals, to be staged at Club Pine Rivers alongside the Bowls Premier League on November 14-16.
BPL Cup state champions and national finals qualifiers:
ACT: Tuggeranong Vikings (Joe Zimoch, Warren Green, Michael Corby)
NSW: Club Merrylands (Michael Clarke, Neil Burkett, Shawn Thompson)
NT: Darwin (Paul Rodin, Warren Corowa, John Foley)
QLD: Yet to be played
SA: Holdfast Bay (Max Kleinig, Josh Studham, Ashley Klose, Colin Hall)
TAS: North Launceston (Andrew Whitmore, Wayne Ogden, Brodie Baker)
VIC: Mentone (Ash Rowan, Dale Jones, Brendan McCullum, Paul Webb)
WA: Osborne Park (Hailey Adams, Patrick Quinlan, Cody Packer, Lewis Grigg)
Caption: The sixteen Quarter Finalists at the BPL Cup state finals