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Bowls In Focus : October 2011
12 Bowls In Focus The luxurious Wagga RSL club has been a happy hunting ground for our cover girl Joan Tennent these past twelve months and we won’t even mention her good fortune on the one-armed bandits. This time last year she added to her brilliant state pairs title win - with Lara clubmate Dawn Staggard at Berwick a few months earlier - when she skipped world junior singles titleholder Sam Shannahan to victory in the NSW Open Women’s Pairs Championship at the RSL. Leading into the straight sets win over Queenslanders Yvonne Lovelock and Shenayde Heldt, Joan and Sam took the points against well-credentialed Sydney pairing Louise Witton and Kristy Flaxman in a semi final and Australia’s top teenagers Lisa Phillips from Richmond Union and Queensland’s Carly Griffith in the quarters. However, this time around Tennent entered and qualified in the three NSW Open women’s disciplines at the RSL and set the cat amongst the pigeons in all of them. In cahoots with Moama state player Sandra Connolly and Geelong West’s Natalie Gurr, Tennent skipped the composite side into the triples quarter finals where they lost narrowly to internationals Rebecca Quail from Tasmania and Newcastle’s Natasha van Eldik, along with Noelene Dutton from Brisbane, the eventual runners-up. Tennent’s pairs title defence – this time with Gurr at her side – was on track as the Cats played beautifully to win their way into the semi finals. Sadly that was where aspirations of back-to-back crowns petered out when they dropped a closely fought first set 8-10, but were eclipsed by Delhi Commonwealth Games silver medalists Julie Keegan and Claire Duke in the second. Keegan and Duke then went on to clinch the final against Sydney’s Maryann Parcell and Dutton in a final which saw both sets tied before the new champions won the tiebreaker 3-2 . In the singles Tennent, who last year won her way into the famed Golden Nugget International at Tweed Heads by winning the Tweed Prestige Open Singles, faced a draw that would send most contenders into a tailspin, but in her natural unfazed style she simply got on with it. A straight sets win over seasoned NSW professional Jan Rolph was rewarded with a head-to-head second round clash against Australian Open singles champion Lisa Phillips, which she won 5-0 in a tiebreak. Next up Tennent spanked former international Arlene Jeffery from Sydney in straight sets to win their quarter final encounter and book an appointment with young international Anne Johns from Sydney’s St Johns Park club. However, in a high quality semi final Johns, a former Scottish junior representative, was able to hold Tennent at bay as she claimed a 7-6 9 -4 victory, which she annexed by defeating Maryann Parcell in the main event. The women’s singles final victory by Johns was the first of two by recently emigrated internationals when former South African legend Neil Burkett followed suit with his triumph in the men’s equivalent. Essendon’s Matty Flapper and Aaron Wilson were the defending champions in the men’s pairs event, having defeated recent Australian Open champions Lee Schraner and Neville Rodda last year in an all- Victorian final. But there would be no repeat for the Bomber duo this time around when they lowered their colours to the NSW combination of Tim Cunningham and Scott Dalton, the eventual winners, in a tiebreak quarter final decider. After winning the first set 15-0 against last year’s finalists David Fergusson, Carl Healey and Guy Vozza from NSW, the Victorian trio of Aaron Wilson, Torie Babitsch and Matt Wilson had the spectator stands buzzing in the men’s triples semi final. Unfortunately the men from south of the border were unable to sustain their early form and went down fighting in a sudden- death three-end tiebreaker. Ironically, Fergusson, Healey and Vozza were defeated in the final for a second successive runner- up result. But the week belonged to ‘our’ Joan who again ‘wowed ‘em’ in Wagga. - David Allen NSW Open Championships Brett Wilkie, Australian Rep Kelvin Kerkow Comfitpro the premium brand in Bowls Gear ComfitPro Bowls shoes the next most important step is wear Comfitpro – the only bowls shoe designed from heel to toe for the game. 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Must be purchased from Comfitpro directly. Prices may change without notice. Australia ’ s national Bowls magazine will be launched early in 2012 under li cense f rom t he uk’s Bow l sin t erna ti ona l magaz i ne • Above: Lara’s Joan Tennent had a superb NSW Open at the Wagga RSL. • Below: Young Victorian Matt Wilson in action during the triples semi final. • Right: Newly crowned NSW Open singles champions Neil Burkett and Anne Johns. Cover Girl’s Wagga Windfall
August September 2011