Colour, noise and high-fives ... the new face of bowls
By BOB ANTHONY
COLOURFUL outfits, shouts of encouragement and high-fives were the order of the opening day at the 2006 Women's National Round Robin tournament at Tweed Heads Bowls Club.
Organised by Bowls Australia, the round-robin sees teams of 12 from each state and territory in Australia competing for the honour of being named national champion and taking home the Marj Morris Trophy.
Each state or territory is represented by three teams of four who each play two games per day.
Each game is played over 21 ends, with the combined total determining points which are accumulated throughout the tournament. The fact that the emphasis is placed on the collective result leads to a real carnival atmosphere.
Queensland is the defending champion and was tipped by Bowls Australia spokesperson Alice Evans as the favourite for the competition.
Yesterday the results for round one in the morning saw the strong Queensland side, which boasts three Commonwealth Games medallists in Lynsey Armitage from Helensvale, Ceri Ann Davies and Noi Tucker, along with former world singles champion Carmen Anderson, account for Tasmania 81-40, while NSW, with key players Karen Murphy, Katrina Wright, Arleen Jeffrey, Maria Rigby and Sharyn Renshaw proved too strong for the Northern Territory, running out victors 80-27.
Western Australia, spearheaded by Roma Dunn, accounted for the 2004 champions Victoria 81-51, while South Australia was too good for the ACT, winning 86-54.
In afternoon play, NSW defeated Tasmania 76-38, Queensland downed the Northern Territory 80-29, South Australia 68 downed Victoria 41 and Western Australia beat the ACT 63-39.
Play continues today and until Thursday at Tweed Heads Bowls Club from 9.30am. Today's morning games see South Australia play Western Australia, Victoria meeting the Northern Territory, Queensland taking on NSW and Tasmania up against the ACT.
In the afternoon, Queensland plays South Australia, NSW plays Western Australia, Tasmania meets the Northern Territory and Victoria is up against the ACT.