Date: May 09, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

WRAP: Women’s #IntSeries a race in three

A tough day for Queensland has left the women’s Interstate Series a race in three.

The defending champion copped a tough draw at Royal Fremantle, but a morning loss to Victoria was compounded by an afternoon loss to Western Australia.

And along with the unbeaten New South Wales, those states will now almost certainly fight out tht titled over the remaining two days.

The young West Australian team, led by the impressive Kathryn Norris, was the big news on day one, with a 3.5-1.5 win over Tasmania capped by a 4-1 romp over Queensland in the afternoon.

Norris, 16, who took down Queensland skipper Gennai Goodwin 2&1 in the top match, said the results were a great reward for a WA squad which was blooded at very young ages in the past two series in Melbourne and Brisbane.

“We have a few of us who’ve played the last couple of years and our experience is up there and our team is definitely getting stronger now that we’re getting a bit older,” Norris beamed.

Norris singled out Abbie Teasdale, a 14-year-old playing at her home club, for having been outstanding this afternoon with a 5&4 win over fellow youngster Sarah Wilson, of Cairns, via the Sunshine Coast.

“(Abbie) had a good win this afternoon, she’s a really good player, will be great when she’s older and (with) the experience she’s getting.”

Norris said playing on home turf had been a boost and that the pressure to perform for home fans did not weigh on the team.

“We’ve been practising really hard here and it’s good having it on your home soil … you feel comfortable and know the course better, so it’s not really pressure, it’s more an expectancy (to do well).”

Isabelle Taylor was the standout for Queensland on a tough day, with the Sanctuary Cove 16-year-old accounting for Olivia Kline (Vic) and backing up to take down Maddison Hinson-Tolchard in the afternoon.

But Alysha Ahnantakrishnan at No.4 and Kirsten Rudgeley at No.2 ensured the hosts would remain unbeaten.

Victoria did likewise against South Australia, claiming a 4-1 win Montana Strauss and Steph Bunque staying unbeaten at No.1 and No.2 respectively. The impressive Gabi Ruffels moved from a win at No.4 in the morning to No.3 in the afternoon and was up to the challenge with another convincing 4&3 victory.

New South Wales is another remarkable story with the same team that won the recent Junior Interstate Series also 2-0 in open-age ranks.

The young Blues blew past South Australia 4-1 in the morning, then hammered Tasmania 5-0 in the afternoon to leap to the top of the table on match differential.

The results set up a key day for NSW tomorrow with an early match against Victoria and an afternoon date with WA likely to be the key matches in deciding Thursday afternoon’s final.