2021 Open State Championships – Day 8 Wrap

by Billy Johnson

Kenta Treacher Secures Open State Singles Title

If there was one thing that the 2021 Open State Singles final proved, it’s that nice guys don’t always finish last. Between Kenta Treacher (North Sydney) and Lee Stinson (Warilla), you would be hard-pressed to find two nicer and more genuine people. You’d also struggle to find two players in better singles form, as both competitors showed their quality in the State Singles Final.

In perfect conditions at Ettalong Bowling Club, it was Treacher who gained the early ascendancy, leading 17-7. Stinson was uncharacteristically out of sorts, struggling to nail his line and weight in the early stages. But as soon as thoughts crept in of Treacher running away with the match, Stinson found his groove, winning five-straight ends to level the scores 17-all.

Both players then went tit for tat, exchanging shots and the scoreboard lead on multiple occasions. An umpires measure going to Treacher gave him a 28-24 lead, and the following end he held one only for Stinson to ‘thread the needle’ with his final bowl to remove the shot and pick up two. Kenta was not going to be denied the next end though as he piled on the shots and held on to win the match and the title 31-26.

Upon accepting the trophy and title, Treacher was humbled with the win. “When I came up to play in the Singles, I had only taken Wednesday and Thursday off for work… I did not expect to be standing here today.” It was an emotional moment for Treacher, who has now joined an exclusive list of players to win a State Singles and State Champion of Champion Singles title. It is also the first State Singles Championship for North Sydney in over 60 years.

Stinson was gracious in defeat, praising Treacher for an excellent match and tournament. While he did not get the win, Stinson has had a fantastic championship, claiming runner-up finishes in the Open Singles and Open Pairs, an amazing achievement. With the way Stinson has played, one can only assume that a State Championship is just around the corner for him.

Congratulations to both Kenta Treacher and Lee Stinson on producing an Open State Singles final to remember.

The Difference One Shot Makes – Brown Takes Out Open Reserve Singles

Troy Brown (Coonabarabran) came within one shot of not making it through his section in the Open Reserve Singles. Two days later, he is the Open Reserve State Singles champion.

In his sectional match against Shannon King-Mokaraka (Tuncurry Beach) scores were locked at 30-30. Had King-Mokaraka won that end and the match, he would have automatically won through his section. As fate would have it though, it was Brown who claimed a solitary shot to win 31-30 and eventually his section.

Fast forward to the final, and it was Phillip Hall (Urunga) who had the early running, leading 10-2. Brown remained calm however, steadily clawing his way back into the match and eventually hitting the lead at 21-20 after picking up a crucial full count.

Hall fought hard to regain the lead, and pulled out some of his best shots of the match when facing a 30-24 deficit. For two successive ends, he drew brilliantly to pick up a score of two and one to get on the springboard and trail 30-27. In the end though, Brown was not going to be denied as he claimed a single shot to win 31-27.

Open Senior Singles – The Battle Between Bernie and Ernie

Terry Warder (Harbord), also known to many as Ernie, came up against Bernie Melville (Alexandria-Erskineville) in the Open Senior Singles Final. From the first end, the match was a classic with both players peppering the jack. The match was also incredibly tight, with neither more than four shots ahead at any stage.

Warder found himself 27-29 down towards the end of the match. For most bowlers, this would be a nerve-wracking situation, but for Ernie it was a case of deja vu as he had found himself in this position in his semi-final against Tony Shoebridge (Bateau Bay) as well as multiple sectional matches. Perhaps settled from these previous experiences, Warder was able to remain calm under the pressure that Melville was providing.

At 29-29, it was Melville’s turn to feel the pressure as he was match down with one bowl to go. Sticking to his usual quick routine, he lined up a weighted shot and executed it perfectly, removing both of Warder’s two shots to pick up one for himself and lead 30-29. Warder responded with a single and on the next end, drawing a side toucher with his third bowl, and narrowly missing with his last to win the match.

On the final end, Warder’s second bowl sat as shot and remained there, with Bernie narrowly missing with both his third and last bowl. The 31-30 win was an epic match, and Warder was thrilled with the result, particularly that he improved on his semi-final appearance in the previous Senior Singles Championship.

Open State, Senior and Reserve Fours

Round 1 of the Open State, Senior and Reserve Fours championships were completed this afternoon, with a mixture of solid wins and surprise results littered throughout the events. Click the link below to see the latest results and sectional ladders!

Click here to view the 2021 Open State Championship Results