|Bowlers still hopeful after losses in South Africa|
|Monday, 30 July 2012 00:00|
ZIMBABWE met with mixed fortunes yesterday but remained hopeful of getting medals at the Africa States Bowls Tournament currently underway here at Umhlali Country Club. The men’s trips team comprising Roy Garden, Mike Elton and Clive Robertson drew against the hosts South Africa 13-13 in the first match of the tournament before losing in the pairs 13-18 where they were represented by Tom Craven and Manuel Silva.
Zimbabwe’s trips team had walked tall in the first round of the afternoon game when they beat Zambia 10-7 in a close contest. The end of the match saw Zimbabwe wining as they beat Zambia 16-11. In the pairs section, Zimbabwe fell at the hands of Zambia 22-18.
Pairs skipper Christie Kapata was happy with their performance and hopes they will keep the momentum in the coming games.
“We played very well and we are happy, we hope we will keep playing well,” said Kapata.
Diane Senna and Oabona Motladiile represented Botswana in the pairs and got their first victory against Namibia whom they beat 18-11.
Motladiile believes they will perform well against Zambia today after a successful performance against Namibia.
“We just need to win the next three games then we will scoop medals. I am happy with our play. I thin it was a good start,” Motladiile.
Zimbabwe men’s team manager Robbie Robinson said the bowlers played well and were still hoping for the medals.
“The games were competitive and I am sure we stand a chance of scooping some medals. This was our first match and we still have other games, we lost against South Africa in the pairs and drew in the trips,” said Robinson.
The tournament saw a massive turnout in the morning as yesterday was the opening ceremony.
In another match, South Africa were in top form when they beat Swaziland 25-9 in the pairs before dismissing them in the trips by 21-8. Kenya drew 19-19 against Botswana in the trips before winning 17-15 in the pairs. South Africa beat Swaziland 22-18 in the trips.
But the women’s pairs team which was represented by Jane Rigby and Debbie Robertson managed to raise the Zimbabwe flag by winning when she led the country to a victory over the hosts by one shot in a tough encounter that ended at 16-15.
While the pairs team walked got off to a promising start, it was a different story for the trips which saw the likes of Kerry Craven, Heather Singleton and Trish Davies losing 19-16.
In their second match of the tournament against Zambia, Zimbabwe were in top form as when they beat them 27-10 in the trips before losing by one shot in the pairs and ended at 19-20.
Meanwhile, President of Bowls South Africa Allan Freeman believes this year’s tournament will be more exciting after seeing a massive turnout at the opening ceremony.
“This years’ tournament promises to be very exciting and we are sure it will be a great success. We are happy that we had a huge turnout at the opening ceremony. It is amazing that among the seven participating countries this year four are totally landlocked who will get a glimpse of the sea as it’s taking place at Umhlali that has a beautiful stretches of the beach that run north Durban and it is known as the Dolphin Coast,” he said.
“We are looking forward to having the most successful Africa States and we wish all the bowlers good play.
“And the players, you are following in the great traditions of this sport, play your hearts out, keep sportsmanship to the fore and you will be doing your part in carrying the flame of the sport forward,” said Freeman.
This is the 29th appearance of the women’s team at Africa States and the 32nd edition of the tournament.
Zimbabwe, who are ranked among the favourites in all categories, will receive byes in the first round matches while South Africa, Swaziland, Kenya, Botswana and Zambia tussle for places in the Singles and Fours matches. In first round matches, South Africa's Bobby Donnelly, who led his country to three gold medals in the 2009 Africa States Pairs, Trips and overall competition beat Don Bilgnaut from Swaziland 21-4 and gave his team a good start with two points.
Donnelly then beat Bowes 21-0 in his last game. Compatriots Jason Evans, Wayne York, Billy Radloff and Pierre Breitenbach also had a good outing when they won all their games and got eight points.
Their ladies team of Esme Kruger, Tracy-Lee Botha, Jenny Jones and Esme Steyn contributed to a fine day when they edged Namibia 19-12 in the Fours before Helen Grundlingh put the icing on the cake with a 21-15 win over Diana Viljoen in the Singles.
Botswana's Lebo Mascarenhas collected two points with a 21-18 victory over a Kenyan player. Their Fours team of Obie Mosimanyana, Ivy Morton, Nelly Senna and Tirelo Buckley also started on a high note when they beat Kenya 22-10. Kenya are proving to be the punching bags for most teams as their men's team also went down 25-7 to Botswana.
Zambia's Kapata, making his first appearance at the tournament got his first victory for the day when he brushed aside his South African opponent 21-18.
The hosts have won gold in Pairs, bronze in men's Trips and a Silver in women's Trips. Namibia won gold in the men's Trips while South Africa walked away with the honours in the women's game. The tournament is expected to end tomorrow.