Hawks eye title
SOUTH Tweed Sports Club this weekend hosts the Aero Bowls Premier League Queensland finals in what will be a magnificent two days of play with the best bowlers in Australia vying for victory.
Two elimination finals will be played at 12.30pm (NSW) today with the winners progressing to the two preliminary finals at 5.30pm ahead of the final at 1pm tomorrow.
It really is a Who's Who of Australian bowls lining up at South Tweed Sports.
Just have a look at Helensvale's line-up - there's current Australian men's singles champion Mark Casey, former Commonwealth Games gold medallist and reigning Australian women's singles champion Lynsey Armitage, world No.2 Brett Wilkie and Nathan Rice who recently won the Australian pairs title. Helensvale also boast four other bowlers who are playing at state and national levels.
There is no other club in Australia that gets near this level of representation, and it's little wonder Helensvale finished on top of the ladder after the home-and-away series.
The Hawks will once again be clear favourites to take out the title and add to their successes over the past four years during which time they have lost the crown only once.
But all of those stars will need to play at or near their peak as there is little doubt South Tweed has enough quality to give the title a real shake.
Leading the charge for the Sharks will be living legend of the sport Kelvin Kerkow, who has been on fire during the series.
Backing him to the hilt will be newly-appointed Australian representative Sean Baker, who has also been in dazzling form, and a number of players who on their day are capable of beating the very best - Dean McWhinney, Geoff Hawken, Peter Richards, Max Jaffray, Wayne Wilson, Anne Maree Peart, and the ageless Neville Jenkins.
Baker's rink has been outstanding all year, due mainly to the brilliant leading of Richards, while Kerkow's four is always hard to beat and Jenkins' has hit form at the right time.
In one elimination final the young and exuberant Pine Rivers team tackles Capalaba.
Pine Rivers stormed home over the last five rounds to finish third. It has three quality skips, none better in the competition than young Robbie Wild, and ably supported by his fellow skips Michael Brown and Joe Wood.
Sixth-placed Capalaba, despite not playing to expectations this year is a team loaded with talent.
Newly-appointed Queensland representative Brendan Egan is in great touch and clearly one of the competition's best draw-saving skips.
He is well-supported by Jamie Anderson who continues to play extremely well at this level. Their final skip, Tom Mullen, will provide great support and is always difficult to beat.
In the other elimination semi, Wynnum Manly Seagulls take on Springwood Titans.
The Seagulls (fourth) had the same points as second-placed South Tweed and third-placed Pine River, demonstrating the closeness of this series.
Wynnum Manly boasts two of the top 10 skips of the year in Jamie Smith and Trevor Broadbent, who will be smarting at the team's loss last week and eager to make amends.
Springwood is the only team to defeat Helensvale this season so must be a serious contender. It has three great skips in Brent Cheyne, Jason Hoy and Jason Constable.
In the preliminary finals, Helensvale will face the elimination final winner which finished lowest on the competition ladder, and South Tweed the higher placed of the two.
Tomorrow's final takes place after the usual Premier League Queensland morning brunch.
It should be a must attend for all lawn bowls enthusiasts, and with the weather forecast looking good it will be a magnificent weekend.