South Australia has come-from-behind to break a 29-year Alley Shield drought at the Australian Sides Championships in Adelaide today.
The Croweaters men secured a slice of history at the sport’s premier state and territory competition at Lockleys Bowling Club, claiming its first title since 1988 with a clinical 68-53 final round robin victory against the ACT, but the historic result came right down to the wire.
The host state defied the odds in the men’s competition, finishing on the same amount of wins Tasmania to secure the coveted Shield on a countback, after the defending Victorian champions upstaged Tasmania in the last round on two rinks, which decimated the Tigers’ dreams of winning their first title in either gender’s events.
The Tigers were required to win their match in addition to two out of the three rinks contested to earn their first Shield, after going into the last round in prime position, but were overcome by the Big V by 2 shots on the last rink, which allowed South Australia to leapfrog them to the top-spot by one-rink.
It was a heartwarming conclusion for the parochial locals, who were skipped by world champion Wayne Rueidger, Australian Jackaroo Scott Thulborn and former Jackaroo Max Kleinig, having only ever tasted success once before in either genders; almost three decades ago.
Their one loss in the round robin competition was at the hands of NSW, by 5 shots.
In the women’s competition, a final round loss to NSW has taken none of the gloss off Queensland’s Marj Morris Trophy triumph.
The Maroons earned their tenth Trophy, and first since 2011, a day early after securing their sixth successive victory on the penultimate day of the competition, and finished half a game clear of the Blues as the outright winners.
Boasting a mix of young blood and experienced talent, the Maroons were skipped admirably by former world champion Julie Keegan, up-and-coming ace Bolivia Millerick and Australian Captain Lynsey Clarke.
The last round’s state of origin contest did have a bearing on the Overall Champions Trophy, awarded to the most successful team across both gender’s competitions, which was also presented to Queensland.
It was the Maroon’s fourth overall win since the trophy was introduced in 2008, when the men’s and women’s events were combined, having last lifted the silverware aloft in 2014.
NSW’s rink of Sarah Boddington, Kay Moran, Beth Quinlan and Karen Murphy were awarded the women’s best-performed rink honours, by 18 shots with an untarnished record, while Queensland’s Sean Ingham, Andrew Howie, Anthony Kiepe and Kurt Brown claimed the men’s best-performed team accolade with 6 wins, half a rink clear.
Bowls Australia congratulates South Australia on their Alley Shield salute, Queensland on their Marj Morris Trophy and Overall Champions Trophy triumphs, and the other states and territories on the valiant attempts.
Men’s Alley Shield final results:
1. South Australia (12 match points, 14 rink points) 2. Tasmania (12, 13) 3. Queensland (10, 15) 4. Victoria (8, 12.5) 5. NSW (6, 9) 6. Western Australia (4, 8.5) 7. ACT (4, 7) 8. Northern Territory (0, 5)
Women’s Mark Morris Trophy final results:
1. Queensland (12 match wins, 12.5 rink wins) 2. NSW (11, 17) 3. Victoria (10, 14.5) 4. Western Australia (7, 12) 5. ACT (6, 9.5) 6. Tasmania (6, 8.5) 7. South Australia (4, 10) 8. Northern Territory (0, 0)
Overall Championships Trophy final results:
1. Queensland (22 match points) 2. Victoria (18 match points, 26.5 rink points) 3. Tasmania (18 match points, 21.5 rink points) 4. NSW (17) 5. South Australia (16) 6. Western Australia (11) 7. ACT (10) 8. NT (0)