The race for the Australian Champion of Champions titles has opened up, after the two leaders both suffered blows to their campaigns in this afternoon’s fifth round at Darwin Bowls and Social Club.
Victoria’s Barrie Lester, representing Mulgrave County Club, continued his strong start in the tournament in the morning’s fourth round, upstaging the only other undefeated player in the field, Western Australia’s Clive Adams, but found his untarnished record shattered in the next encounter.
The ACT’s Breeze Howard, from Yass, drew first blood against the Australian number one male bowler, eventually posting a 21-17 victory to notch up his third win of the tournament.
Lester still retains a one-game buffer over the rest of the field as the outright ladder leader, given Adams also came unstuck in the fifth round, against the then-winless Kurt Brown, from Katana, Queensland.
There’s a logjam of competitors trailing closely behind Adams, separately only by shot differential, including Tasmania’s Lee Schraner, NSW’s Jono Davis, and Howard.
It’s a very similar scenario in the women’s event, with Darwin’s own Colleen Orr one game clear of the competition, despite faltering in the afternoon match.
Orr succumbed to NSW’s former Australian representative Beth Quinlan to relinquish her untarnished standing, which stood at three wins and a bye, given the women’s field is one player short due to Tasmania’s withdrawal.
However, she also has a win up her sleeve at the top of the table, after Queensland’s Cassandra Millerick produced a comprehensive victory over then-second placed Pauline Bourne, from Western Australia.
As a result, the entire field is now precariously placed with two wins, just one game shy of first position.
Quinlan has the best shot differential, followed by Millerick, Victoria’s Jess Wallace, South Australia’s Cassandra Harvey, Bourne and then ACT’s Chloe Morrison.
Millerick and Wallace will only get one opportunity to add to their ledger though, with byes scheduled for the penultimate and final sessions respectively.
The penultimate round will be staged tomorrow at Darwin from 9.00am local time, followed by the last rubber at 12.00pm.
The winner of each of the men’s and women’s competitions will be afforded entry into next year’s World Champion of Champions event, to be staged at NSW’s St Johns Park.
Round five results:
Breeze Howard (TAS) def Barrie Lester (VIC) 21-17
Jono Davis (NSW) def Trystan Smallacombe (NT) 21-19
Lee Schraner (TAS) def Wayne Ruediger (SA) 21-10
Kurt Brown (QLD) def Clive Adams (WA) 21-19
Chloe Morrison (ACT) def Jess Wallace (VIC) 21-18
Beth Quinlan (NSW) def Colleen Orr (NT) 21-10
Cassandra Millerick (QLD) def Pauline Bourne (WA) 21-3
Cassandra Harvey (SA) Bye
Round four results:
Breeze Howard (ACT) def Wayne Ruediger (SA) 21-20
Jono Davis (NSW) def Kurt Brown (QLD) 21-12
Lee Schraner (TAS) def Trystan Smallacombe (NT) 21-12
Barrie Lester (VIC) def Clive Adams (WA) 21-15
Chloe Morrison (ACT) def Cassandra Harvey (SA) 21-20
Cassandra Millerick (QLD) def Beth Quinlan (NSW) 21-17
Jess Wallace (VIC) def Pauline Bourne (WA) 21-16
Colleen Orr (NT) Bye