COORDINATORS TO FORE ON LONG FIRST DAY
The two Professional Bowls Association regional coordinators in the Scotty’s Meats NZ PBA team came to the fore on day one of the PBA Trans-Tasman Challenge at the Deer Park Bowling Club in Melbourne. New NZ number one Craig Merrilees who runs the Invercargill PBA branch, and the best kiwi in last year’s Trans-Tasman Challenge Bart Robertson who now runs the Auckland branch both opened with two wins.
Robertson did not play for most of this domestic NZ PBA season due to health problems which has seen his NZ ranking fall dramatically so he needs to be the best-performed kiwi again this year to keep his place in the team for 2019. He has obviously enjoyed the chance of getting back on the green beating Australia’s Curtis Hanley and Brett Mahoney. Merrilees continued his great 2018 form which saw him take over the year-end number one spot also beating Mahoney and then Brendan Gallagher. Wellington’s Bradley Down chipped in to give round two to the Scotty’s Meats NZ PBA team beating Jamie Pearce.
All the kiwis succumbed in round three as jetlag may have set in with a late 9pm AEDT start a day after the team flew into Melbourne from New Zealand. Bryce Young was the best of the Australians with three straight wins going into day 2.
DAY 1 RESULTS
Craig Merrilees (NZ) bt Brett Mahoney (Aus) 10-9, 9-5; Brendan Gallagher (Aus) bt Paul King (NZ) 16-3, 10-6; Bryce Young (Aus) bt Bradley Down (NZ) 10-2, 8-4; Jamie Pearce (Aus) bt Dean Drummond (NZ) 8-5, 5-8, 2-0; Bart Robertson (NZ) bt Curtis Hanley (Aus) 8-6, 9-4, 2-0. Australia win round 3-2
Hanley (Aus) bt Drummond (NZ) 6-5, 10-11, 2-0; Robertson (NZ) bt Mahoney (Aus) 8-7, 6-6; Merrilees (NZ) bt Gallagher (Aus) 12-3, 10-6; Young (Aus) bt King (NZ) 9-4, 12-2; Down (NZ) bt Pearce (Aus) 8-8, 9-7. NZ win round 3-2
Pearce (Aus) bt King (NZ) 8-5, 8-9, 2-0; Hanley (Aus) bt Down (NZ) 9-4, 13-3; Mahoney (Aus) bt Drummond (NZ) 14-3, 10-3; Gallagher (Aus) bt Robertson (NZ) 9-5, 4-9, 2-1; Young (Aus) bt Merrilees (NZ) 3-15, 11-6, 2-0. Australia win round 5-0