Twist to the Lions’ tale
SYDNEY Lions will attempt to defend their back-to-back Bowls Premier League titles at Pine Rivers Bowls Club during the week.
The Lions team of Aron Sherriff, Ben Twist and Karen Murphy have taken Bowls Australia’s flagship event by storm in the last two instalments of the competition, as the Lions won last year at Pine Rivers and in Auckland earlier this year.
The Lions have made one change to the team with youngster Corey Wedlock coming in, after Twist was called up for national duties in the Hong Kong International Classic.
Wedlock is capable of taking Twist’s place and lifting the Lions into the finals.
The Perth Suns will be represented by the same combination that played in Auckland earlier in the year.
John Slavich gets his second chance on the big stage, following a fantastic contribution in New Zealand.
Slavich adds colour and enthusiasm to the already lively event and is a perfect fit.
Pieter Harris and Kristina Krstic will don the Suns orange, alongside new coach, Bowls WA Hall of Famer Lindsay Thorn.
In a coup for the tournament, arguably the world’s best player, Alex Marshall, has signed on for the Brisbane Pirates.
Marshall’s only appearance in the event was for the Murray Steamers in 2014, when he took the title with Ryan Bester and local boy Michael Walker.
This time, Marshall will be required to lead the way, with superstar Kelsey Cottrell and Pine Rivers local Robbie Wild making up the Pirates squad.
A big showing from the New Zealand Blackjacks would certainly not surprise.
The defending champions from 2015 are back together, with reigning Commonwealth Games champion Jo Edwards joined by the current world singles titleholder Shannon McIlroy.
World fours supremo Ali Forsyth rounds out the team.
The Blackjacks were the stars of the tournament on their home turf earlier in the year, and narrowly missed taking the title.
A new franchise, the Illawarra Gorillas, join the competition, replacing the defunct Adelaide Endurance.
The Gorillas are backed by the powerful Warilla Bowling Club, and are represented by newly crowned world singles champion of champions Aaron Teys, Scottish star Kay Moran, and former Perth Suns and Brisbane Gold player Jeremy Henry, a multiple world title holder who sets the record for playing for his third franchise in a series that has only been going five years.
Australia’s male and female bowlers of the year, Barrie Lester and Carla Krizanic will both make their debuts in this week’s event, alongside each other as part of the Melbourne Roys team.
The Bowls Premier League will be shown live on Fox Sports from Tuesday through to Friday from 3pm to 8pm each evening.