Swifts chase state title after upset win
A SWIFTS Bowls Club team has progressed to the state pennant finals next month after a major upset.
Swifts, the Cunningham District pennant champions, upstaged Gold Coast pennant champions Broadbeach last weekend to qualify for the state tournament.
Broadbeach was hot favourite with international and state players sprinkled throughout its side and playing at the Gold Coast.
However, the Swifts team prevailed 66 shots to 54 after an epic battle.
Swifts held a small lead for most of the afternoon before Broadbeach secured a six-shot lead with seven ends remaining.
In typically determined fashion, Swifts picked up nine shots across the three rinks in two minutes to regain the lead. From that point, the Ipswich side didn't look back.
Swifts' strongest rink of David Trevor, Ron Cronk, Hilary Goebel and Lindsay Halliwell defeated former state junior Sam White's rink 24 to 14.
Man-of-the-match Cronk continually drew close bowls for Goebel and Halliwell to work with.
Graeme Hooper's rink of Brent Leembruggen, Wayne Jones and Todd Lloyd had a tight tussle with Sean Ingham's rink to prevail 22-18.
Leembruggen's switch to lead was a masterstroke, as he continually set up the head for the rest of the team.
Paul Jackson, Steve Bell, Tony Petrohilos and Chris Mudd played a huge part in the win by holding Canadian international Ryan Bester's rink to an 18-20 scoreline.
Bester had not lost his rink for the entire Gold Coast pennant season. But he conceded the game at the 20th end when he realised Broadbeach was beaten.
The patience and persistence shown by Jackson's rink set the tone for the entire team.
Swifts progress to the state pennant finals at Tweed Heads on November 24 and 25.
Swifts will battle with seven other zone champions for state pennant honours.