Only three players have secured three wins from as many starts on the first day of the 2017 Australian Champion of Champions at Darwin Bowls and Social Club, and two are scheduled to meet in a blockbuster match-up tomorrow morning.
Australia’s number one male bowler, Barrie Lester, and Western Australian stalwart Clive Adams both maintained an untarnished record in the opening day’s three rounds, but only one will be able to boast that claim after they meet in tomorrow morning’s fourth rubber.
Lester cut a swath through the competition, defeating Queensland’s Kurt Brown to open proceedings, followed by his Australian Jackaroos teammate Wayne Ruediger, from South Australia, and then capped off the day by upstaging then-undefeated local product Trystan Smallacombe, who has enjoyed a scintillating run on his home Darwin deck.
Adams has been equally impressive, accounting for dual Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist Jono Davis in the opening round, and then put on an absolute clinic against the ACT’s Breeze Howard, winning by 18 shots, and put the finishing touches on the day with a 15 shot victory against one-time Australian representative Lee Schraner, from Tasmania.
Given Adams’ comprehensive victories, he is in the box seat in the men’s event at the end of day one, but boils down to tomorrow.
The round robin format, which sees all eight state and territories play each other across seven rounds, is forgiving of a loss, but only if everyone suffers that fate at some stage.
With a winner declared at the end of the seven rounds, whoever prevails tomorrow will have one hand on the Australian Champion of Champion trophy, as well as a spot in the world event next year.
In the women’s event, Darwin’s own Colleen Orr has been established as the clear front-runner and is the only player with an unblemished record.
Orr capitalised on a home ground advantage, securing a first-game win against South Australian spearhead Cassandra Harvey, then accounted for Queensland state representative Cassandra Millerick, followed by a slender one-shot win against Victoria’s Jess Wallace.
She concludes the day with a handy one-game buffer over the rest of the field, with Western Australia’s Pauline Bourne in second place on two wins from two starts, the result of a bye match.
The 2017 Australian Champion of Champions continues at Darwin Bowls and Social Club tomorrow, with two rounds, followed by a further two rounds on Friday.
Caption: Australia’s number one male bowler, Barrie Lester, is lighting up the Top End.
Australian Champion of Champions round three results:
Barrie Lester (VIC) def Trystan Smallacombe (NT) 21-16
Clive Adams (WA) def Lee Schraner (TAS) 21-6
Breeze Howard (ACT) def Jono Davis (NSW) 21-11
Wayne Ruediger (SA) def Kurt Brown (QLD) 21-20
Beth Quinlan (NSW) def Chloe Morrison (ACT) 21-10
Cassandra Harvey (SA) def Cassandra Millerick (QLD) 21-17
Colleen Orr (NT) def Jess Wallace (VIC) 21-20
Pauline Bourne (WA) Bye