Sharks to attack on home turf
WITH his squad stripped of six regular starters, South Tweed skip Neville Jenkins is eager to make a statement when the Sharks open their 2011 Queensland Premier League campaign on home soil tomorrow.
They open the season against 2010 cellar-dwellers Ferny Grove at South Tweed Sports Club and Jenkins believes it is imperative that, regardless of the team’s make-up, the Sharks must be predatorial on familiar greens.
“Our greens run okay and we should see a bit of home-ground advantage,” Jenkins said.
“You really set yourself up for a bad year if you can’t win at home. You’re not always sure what you’ll get on the road.
“Everyone’s keen to get into the season and open with a win.”
With the three Leese brothers and fellow rising star Ben Savva relocating, and greenkeepers Charlie Neave and Wayne Wilson opting to focus their attentions on main-tainance rather than competition, a repeat of last year’s top-four finish appears wishful thinking.
Furthermore, former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kelvin Kerkow is unavailable for the opening two rounds due to international commitments on the World Bowls Tour in England.
“The bonus is we’re not playing one of the top side’s first up,” Jenkins said.
“We’ve lost six first-class players so we’re not going to be as strong as we have been in the past and it will be a real challenge to keep up there.
“Kelvin’s a big loss for these first two weeks especially. He’s hard to replace no matter how strong you are.”
However, South Tweed still sport a wealth of experience with Tod McIntosh, Peter Richards, Rex Wildash, John O’Connor, Matt Norris, Sally Hickman, Wayne Earea and Nigel Smith.
Jenkins himself was recently named Queensland’s Player of the Tournament (over-60s) at the national titles in Perth, and recruits Geoff Twist and Max Jaffray have both proven themselves at their former clubs.
“We’ll be promoting a few guys and giving them a chance and hopefully they will shine,” Jenkins said.
“Geoff has been a very good bowler in the past and hopefully he can rekindle the same form for us.”
Last time the two sides met, Sharks savaged Ferny by nine points but Jenkins expects an improved showing from the visitors.
The action begins at South Tweed Sports at 5pm (AEDT) and Jenkins hopes for plenty of local support.