2022-23 State Championships Mixed Pairs Wrap
Article by Ben Krikstolaitis
The final event of the 2022-23 State Championships was a ripper. It’s the only championship that didn’t come from Zone or Region quaifying, it came from qualifying clubs. This meant that a multiple teams from the same club could qualify, as well as teams featuring players from different clubs.
They converged from everywhere around the state to join the celebration at Figtree Sports that is our State Championships.
One peculiar anomaly that came from sectional play was the Section 8 ladder with Margaret Smith and Alan Joss of Ettalong and Mark Greene and Melissa Watts of Soldiers Point tying at the top of the ladder with two wins and a score difference of one solitary shot. After the rulebook and CoP was consulted, the Ettalong duo came through on top having conceded fewer shots overall.
The first quarter final saw Debra Barber (Adamstown) & Matthew Johnstone (Soldiers Point) come up against the familiar finals talent of Anne Johns paired with Mason Lewis (Engadine). The teams fought out a close matchwith the Engadine pair winning by three shots.
Defending champions Claire Kelly and Shannon White of Forster had a strong win over Patricia Tan and John Campton from Belrose. It was a similar scenario for Zoe Nicholls and Brendan Stokes (Raymond Terrace) winning comfortably over Christine Myers and Ken Trow of South Tamworth.
The last quarter final was a ripper between Chanel Chakouch (Cabramatta) and Cameron Curtis (Wenty Leagues) and Margaret Smith & Alan Joss (Ettalong). The Ettalong team dominated early and were up by what seemed an insurmountable margin. But the Cabra/Wenty combination suddenly rushed home and nearly won the match, falling just two shots short of victory.
It was a tale of two destroyers and the honourable vanquished. Making a semi-final in this championship is no mean feat and the losing teams played with determination but fell short to a couple of sides in fine form. Raymond Terrace once again showed their consistency at state level with a great win, with the Engadine duo following suit and shooting their way through to the final.
The story here is that it was all Engadine from the very start. The Raymond Terrace youngsters were under the pump playing against their experienced opponents. Mason Lewis was completely on-song from the second end onwards. The KENO NSW Blues representative probably had one bowl that he would have been unhappy with as he set up heads beautifully for fellow state representative and skip Anne Johns time after time.
A defeat for the Raymond Terrace team but a fantastic learning experience and one they won’t forget for a while. For the youngsters, many a Mentos will be consumed on the way home to the sweet sounds of Luke Combs.
The Engadine pair both have a test series in which to compete next weekend and more glory to be found in Perth at the National Championships later in the year.
That brings to an end thirteen days of brilliant competition in our flagship event. Congratulations to all of the players who qualified and competed. Thank you to the three host clubs in Figtree Sports, Towradgi Bowls and Recreation Club and Wiseman Park Wollongong City Bowling Club and the countless volunteers for assisting in any way possible. Thanks also to our sponsors Destination Wollongong and TAB for ensuring our State Championships were the best event yet.