My goal at the beginning of the year was to ay in the Bronze medal. Thanks to Tim Murphy who helped me and made me answer the question “what do I have to do to become a Bronze medal player?”.
Narrowly missing the rankings , I had to win the Selectors 10, so had to play the top seeds on the first day.
Game 1 v Pete Landrebe. Won the opening and made 9. Pete missed the leave, giving me a triple to finish. However I failed to get position one hoop 1 on three occasions. Each time Pete narrowly missed the long roquet. I eventually hit a 10 yarder (oppo on boundary) and commenced the break to finish. Having made the first two peels I required a straight rover peel to complete the triple. Successfully ‘irish peeled’ from 18″ out I had to simply rush my partner ball up to the peg. This didn’t quite go to planned when I rushed peeled it back through rover, thankfully clear of the hoop, giving me a 5 yard peg out to start the tournament with a win. 26tp-0
Game 2 v Trevor Bassett, I continued the good form and was attempting to ‘death roll’ to 2-back while peel penultimate. They call it ‘death roll for a reason… ended up 5 yards short after partner rejected – missed and gave Trev a gimmee start from A baulk. Had a straight forward break to finish later in the game but was hampered out of 2-back. Trev hit his straps and won 26-22.
Game 3 v Alan Walsh. Always seem to have a close encounter with Alan and this was no different. Made less errors and came out on top 26-19.
Game 4 v Rosie Graham. Continuing to keep errors to a minimum and capitalising any opportunities I am given won 26-6.
Game 5 v Stephen Richards. Battle of the undefeateds, once again was able to get in the first nine. Stephen hit the leave, made hoop 1 and jaws my 4-back ball in 4-back on the way to making 2, however didn’t get position to run and retired with dolly rush at hoop 2 and my other ball mid court. I decided to run 4-back and attempt hitting my partner ball, thinking that should I miss my ball would be in corner 1. I hit!!! Therefore went to the peg, set leave and crossed fingers Stephen would miss. Crossing fingers must have helped so commenced and completed break from hoop 1 to win 26-1.
Game 6 v Tim Murphy. Going into game with a 0-12 record against Tim I was due for a win. Tim made the first nine. (not sure on who made next break…) After some interaction he had the opportunity to take the forward ball to the peg, which I later pegged off to put the game into a 2 v 1. An epic battle, finally getting up 26-24. Phew, and off the duck.
Entering day 3 Pete and I both had equal number of wins, however while I was in front on net hoops, I had to continue winning.
Game 7 v Ken Edwards was yet another close game. Whilst I got the upper hand early, Ken fought back with his consistent break play and leaves. I was hitting well which kept me in the game, and to win 26-21.
Game 8 v Alison Sharpe. Never easy against Alison and this game proved to be no different. Both of us made breaks and hit each other’s leaves making it a tight contest. Alison laid up after 4-back having her partner ball on the peg as not able to make penult, (maybe due to birthday celebrations the night before ) was about 4 yards short of maximum distance and in court. Hitting her leave completed the break to win 26-22.
Still in front on net points although Pete had comprehensive wins and can still take the title.
Game 9 v John Levick. Was “on-song” all game. John made an error after hoop 4 allowing me back in the game. By this time, in the other game of interest Trev had made a break of 9, meaning I just had to ensure I won the last game to win. Nothing fancy, no triples… just steady play and good leaves made for a good win 26-4.
Pete won his last game, meaning we were equal on 8 wins each, however I had 15 extra net points. Woohoo.
Even the 4 1/2 hour drive back to Wagga Wagga wasn’t time enough for the ‘unbelievable’ feeling to subside or for the realisation of what I had accomplished.
In winning the competition I had 3 “first wins” over Pete, Stephen and Tim, defeated all current members of the NSW state team, was the first player ever to win both the Selectors 10 and the Bronze medal in the same year, and booked myself to Hobart to compete in the ACA Gold medal in March 2011.