Queensland has secured its tenth women’s Marj Morris Trophy a day early after reaching an unassailable lead at the Australian Sides Championships in Adelaide.
The Maroon women are guaranteed of collecting the silverware regardless of tomorrow’s final result at Lockleys Bowling Club, after prevailing in this afternoon’s penultimate encounter against Victoria 66-59 to earn their sixth success victory.
It will be the state’s first victory in the women’s competition since 2011, following on from NSW’s five-peat of title triumphs, and tenth since the women’s competition’s inception in 1979.
The NSW Blues suffered a tumultuous start to their historic campaign, drawing and losing their first two battles on Thursday’s first day, but have set their course back on track, and cruised past Victoria into second position on the ladder following an 80-43 win over Tasmania.
Tomorrow’s seventh round, which sees the top-two placed Queensland and NSW, and third and fourth placed Victoria and Tasmania, do battle, could still have massive bearings on the Overall Champions Trophy honours, which is awarded to the best-performed team across both genders.
While a few teams are still in contention for the men’s Alley Shield, it looks destined to be drought-breaking result.
Tasmania and South Australia will go into the final day of the competition in the box seat to claim the coveted prize, after each notched up their fifth wins from six rounds.
Victoria also looked set to feature in Shield hunt but dropped their afternoon match by a slender shot to Queensland today to fall away from the pack.
The Tigers, who have never won the Shield or the Trophy, upstaged perennial powerhouse NSW in this afternoon’s sixth round comprehensively, 81-51, to claim top-spot on the ladder entering the final match.
The host state, South Australia, are still very much in the race, just two rink-wins behind Tasmania, both with five match-wins.
The Croweaters, who have only claimed the Shield once before, in 1988, will be challenged by ACT in the final round, which could open up old wounds.
South Australia looked set to claim the title two years ago when the competition was staged in Yokein, Western Australia, but were overcome by the ACT by a slender shot in the dying moments of the last game, which resulted in the title going to NSW instead, on a count-back.
If Tasmania can win their titanic tussle against Victoria tomorrow morning, by two rinks, they will secure their first Australian Sides Championships title ever.
Should the Tigers only win by one rink, the result will go to a count-back of shots, which they currently lead by 30.
The seventh round will see Tasmania tackle Victoria, Queensland encounter NSW, Northern Territory face Western Australia and ACT challenge South Australia.
Men’s Alley Shield round six:
QLD def VIC 67-66:
Baker lost to Flapper 22-27
Brown def Lester 23-19
Rice def Wilson 22-20
ACT lost to WA 41-66:
Thomas lost to Harris 6-25
McLean lost to Mitchell 13-25
Whybrow def Slavich 22-16
NT lost to SA 36-76:
Kitto lost to Ruediger 13-25
Smallacombe lost to Thulborn 14-24
Maher lost to Kleinig 9-27
TAS def NSW 81-51:
Schraner def Turley 36-12
Sims def Ferguson 24-19
Nitz def Sherriff 21-20
Women’s Marj Morris round six:
QLD def VIC 66-59:
Keegan lost to Krizanic 8-32
Millerick def Brodie 36-12
Clarke def Edwards 22-15
ACT lost to WA 42-62:
Harmer lost to Solly 15-20
Moore lost to Krstic 16-22
Bacchetto lost to Morss 11-20
NT lost to SA 42-87:
Chandler lost to Callisto 11-24
Richards lost to Wright 18-26
Kitto lost to Johnson 13-37
TAS lost to NSW 43-80:
Hodgetts lost to Cottrell 8-27
Triffitt lost to Scott 18-32
Van Asch lost to Murphy 17-21