THE NUMBERS BEHIND BPL18
With the dust settling on yet another glorious event of the Bowls Premier League (BPL), a plethora of records have been equalled or broken, while a number of firsts have been achieved at BPL18 (writes Val Febbo, Bowls Australia).
Club Pine Rivers yet again dazzled bowls fans as all ten franchises established why the made-for-television event is one of the most pulsating in the world.
Let’s take a deep dive at some of the history that was made last week.
Ospreys equal Lions
The Tweed Heads Ospreys are now equal with the Sydney Lions for the most titles in tournament history after notching up a fourth crown by defeating the Melbourne eXtreme.
Tweed previously tied Sydney after BPL13 by clinching their third title in four events, with the Lions pulling ahead yet again at the beginning of 2022 at the very next event in Moama.
Another chance came for Sydney to extend their advantage at BPL17 in February but to no avail as they fell to Moama, so it was all up to the Ospreys to equal them again on top of the tree.
The duo sit one ahead of the Steamers on three tournament victories.
Teys’ fifth title
Before last week only Aron Sherriff had been a five-time BPL champion, but the club has its second member as Aron Teys hoisted the trophy for the fifth time.
The Warilla product won his first crown for the former Gorillas franchise at BPL09 before going back-to-back with the Ospreys at the very next event.
He would again achieve consecutive crowns at BPL12 and 13 for Tweed to cement himself at the top of the tree with Sherriff.
The Moama star would again pull ahead in February, only to have Teys match him nine months later with a quintet of medals.
Teys’ teammates in Chloe Stewart and Corey Wedlock earned their fourth championship, equal with Karen Murphy in second place.
The three-time MVP club
Like the five-time winner club, Sherriff was the only member of the three-time MVP or more club before last week’s extravaganza.
However, it would be Teys who joined him in this one as well after notching the third gong of his career, edging Sherriff by a solitary point.
The pair now sit with nine crowns between them, with Sherriff’s six a mile ahead of his Tweed counterpart.
All Star on debut
In her maiden BPL, the Melbourne eXtreme’s Kylie Whitehead became the first player to become a member of the tournament’s All Star team on debut.
Coming into the Club Sunbury franchise for the tournament, the Right at Home Jackaroo was mighty for her franchise, performing at an exemplary level for the entirety of the competition.
On finals night, she was anointed into the team along with Teys and Sherriff after a week that will go down in BPL folklore.
The 150 win club
Sherriff and his Steamers teammate Ryan Bester became the first ever players to notch up 150 wins at the tournament.
The pair, who have been involved since the event was known as the Australian Premier League, achieved the feat on the opening day of proceedings at Pine Rivers before going on to finish on top of the table.
Sherriff would end BPL18 on 161 wins and Bester on 160.
100 games for two franchises
Gold Coast Hawks star and former champion Kelsey Cottrell became the first player to notch up 100 matches for two franchises.
The 33-year-old played her 200th game at Pine Rivers and helped the Hawks return to the finals for the first time since BPL09.
Cottrell previously represented the Pirates on 110 occasions, winning the title with them in BPL08.