On the Mat: South Tweed recruits bolster Premier League side
THE first Saturday of the new year and also the first week of the Aerobowls Premier League Queensland season - the best and toughest bowls league in Australia.
Eagerly awaiting today are 144 top players from 12 clubs, with the first of 11 rounds of the prestigious event commencing at clubs across south-east Queensland.
The competition is now in its 18th year.
The Helensvale Hawks, led by Brett Wilkie and Nathan Rice, will again start favourites, having won the flag seven times.
Hamilton Power, the 2016 champions, will again be hard to best, having pipped the Hawks by four shots in the qualifying final last year before winning the grand final 61-59.
Minor premiers last year Broadbeach Bulls lost both finals at Pine Rivers but will be better suited to the finals venue at Helensvale in March this year.
The biggest improvers this year will be the South Tweed Sharks with former Bowls Queensland state coach Bill Cornehls taking over as the bowls co-ordinator on Wednesday at this prestige club south of the border.
A former Victorian, Cornehls has coaching experience in South Australia and Queensland and he was a former bowls co-ordinator at Moama before moving north.
Cornehls was a member of the Wynnum Manly Leagues side that won the Premier League back in 2005, 2007 and 2010, and will be a valuable asset to the Sharks this season.
The Sharks, premiers back in 2013, have recruited well with Clinton Bailey, from Broadbeach, Gary Pearson, from Burleigh Heads, and Brendan Wilson, from Tweed Heads, all joining the side.
The Sharks' line-up for the first round against Greenslopes is John Bain, Steve Halmai, Scott De Jongh, Kelvin Kerkow (sk), Bill Cornehls, Clinton Bailey, Gary Pearson, Steve Glasson (sk), Peter Richards, Nigel Smith, Geoff Hawken and Nev Jenkins (sk).
Two new sides have joined the Premier League this season with Kawana Thunder on the Sunshine Coast and local Tweed Heads Ospreys.
The Ospreys were runners-up in the Bowls Super Challenge finals last year and new recruits Steven Tong and Ian Law will bolster the side but they face a tough battle in the first match away from home against the Hawks today.
A full round-up of all results can be found on online at plq.com.au.
The $12,5000 Summerland Greenmaster Pairs played over the Christmas/New Year period was won by Jayden Christie and Sean Ingham.
Christie and Ingham scored a big win over Brendan Baker and Brett Dean in the decider.
In the semi-final the young guns took out last year's runners-up Chris Herdon and Carl Healey 16-10 before going on to win the final easily. For results visit lawnbowlsnews.com.
- League draw:
- Round One: Swifts v Enoggera, Hamilton v Pine Rivers, Greenslopes v Sth Tweed, Broadbeach v Belmont, Capalaba v Kawana, Helensvale v Tweed Heads.