Queensland players have stunningly captured both Australian Championships titles on the first day of competition at Merimbula’s Club Sapphire tonight.
The Maroons claimed both the men’s and women’s fours titles; the first Australian Championships titles awarded in 12 years, and it had a distinctively Gold Coast feel to the finals.
Today marked the return of the event to the national calendar following a 12 year hiatus, and it was a full contingent of Gold Coast based players who etched their name into the sport’s history books.
The composite team of Natasha Jones, Julie Keegan, Chloe Stewart and Lynsey Clarke, the first and last who represent Club Helensvale and the middle two who play for Broadbeach, were the first team to earn a gold medal.
The team toppled the star-studded NSW team of Sharon McReynolds, Lynne Thompson, Genevieve Delves and Natasha Scott by 2 slender shots, 12-10, in the decider.
Club Helensvale’s Des Cann Jr, Matthew Lucas, Brett Wilkie and Nathan Rice secured the men’s fours honours, with a 7 shot victory over Narooma’s Peter Hattam, Keith Bowater, John Breust and Jay Breust.
The Gold Coast based team all played their part to perfection on the “Rinkside Live” live-streamed feature match, which can be relived here, to secure a 16-9 victory against the NSW team, who certainly gave the local Merimbula crowd plenty of occasion to cheer throughout the match.
The bronze medals were also decided, with Tasmania’s Mary Beaumont, Judy Reeve, Shiron Beavis and Erin Sesara awarded the women’s medallion, 26-3 over ACT, and Western Australia’s Ian Lilburne, Kevin Pickering, Pat Caffell and Steve O’Neil presented the men’s, courtesy of a 21-2 triumph over the Northern Territory.
The Australian Championships continues at Club Sapphire in Merimbula tomorrow until Friday, with the men’s and women’s triples to take centre stage on day two from 8.45am.
All gold/silver and bronze medal finals will be staged from 6.00pm each evening.