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Bowls In Focus : August September 2010
6 Bowls In Focus Late last century, during a brief and inglorious football career, a wily old coach ushered me aside one night to drop a bombshell - that I would be kick- ing the dew off the grass in the seconds on the following Saturday. But he offered some advice that would stay with me forever: ‘Don’t go around bagging the selectors, that’s weak. Go out a get a few kicks in the twos and prove they were wrong, let your performance do the talking’. It didn’t ease the pain, but after regaining my spot in the top side three weeks later, I knew his pearl of wisdom had been priceless. Last month during the $40,000 Queensland Open Championships at the Bribie Island Bowls Club near Brisbane, two of Victoria’s best known achievers, fresh from the disappoint- ment of being ‘rejected’ in elite level selections, let their performances do the talking. Our longest serving interstate rep- resentative and 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Mark Jacobsen was the standout player of the cham- pionships, while pint-sized Lisa Phillips rocked the establishment when she clinched the women’s singles crown. For Jacobsen, the 42-year-old Moonee Ponds ace, being left out of the national team for next month’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi was a bitter pill to swallow after his preparation appeared to have ticked all the boxes. Similarly teenage sensation Phillips, the current state junior champion, had to deal with her non-selection in the Victorian women’s state squad, knowing that several of her peers including South Australia’s Breeanna Dickson and WA’s Kristina Krstic already had a season of senior interstate representation under their belts. However, Phillips, who hails from Yallourn but will be seen in the distinc- tive Richmond Union livery this season, lodged her personal protest in brilliant fashion. After emerging from the qualifying process in suburban Brisbane, she fronted at Bribie Island to face legend- ary Queenslander Diana Cunnington, the 2003 Australian indoor singles champion, in the opening round and posted a comfortable straight-sets victory. Her reward was an appointment with reigning world champion of champions Kelsey Cottrell from Queensland, who will be Australia’s singles player in Delhi next month. Tied at one set each and on equal shots, Phillips whitewashed Cottrell in the tiebreaker to move into the quarter-finals against another interna- tional, Kelli Wray from South Australia. After a tense tied first set Phillips powered into the final four with a big win in the second. Her semi-final opponent was former Scottish international Kay Moran, who won the 2005 Atlantic Rim Championships singles title in Ireland, and again Phillips kept her opponent scoreless in the tiebreak after being level at a set apiece. Being dubbed the ‘teenage giant slayer’ by local media, Phillips still had one more giant to slay on route to the title, Queensland’s Carmen Anderson, the 1996 world singles winner and one of the toughest competitors of all time. But in a scintillating display Phil- lips charged to a 10-1 win in the first nine-ender, dropped the second 6-8, then prevailed in another tiebreaker to capture her third, yet most prestigious Bowls Australia grand prix title. Last • Above: Finalists Carmen Anderson and Lisa Phillips with medals after the Victorian teenager’s astounding victory. • Below: Former Commonwealth Games gold medalists Mark Jacobsen and Kelvin Kerkow snared more glitter at Bribie Island. • Below Right: Phillips sends one away during her march to victory at the Queensland Open. Revenge of the Queensland OPEN 2010
June July 2010