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Rollin' Thunder Returns Australian Bowling to TV

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Australian bowling’s return to TV in Australia following an almost 20 year hiatus from free to air TV screens saw Jarrod Langford and George Frilingos of Caboolture Bowl win the inaugural grand final on Sunday 28th January.

Being broadcast across seven one hour shows in December and January on 7Mate, the exciting new series reached over 694,000* viewers in metropolitan and regional TV markets.

Following the airing of the series, TBA CEO Cara Honeychurch said it was great for the sport to be showcased to a wider audience in what was a quality production.

“It has been great to see the sport back on free to air TV in Australia and showcased in such a positive way.  The matches were great viewing with many going down to the final frame and importantly showcased bowling as a sport to the general public.”

Honeychurch also went onto add that “it has also been great to see people talking about the sport positively.”

“A big thanks goes to IBCA and their members for their commitment to delivering the series as well as Gary O’Neill who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make it a great production.”

With the made for TV series including the doubles baker format, beginning on 3rd December, fans were in for a treat when the series kicked off with David Porto and Matt Riley defeating the duo of Rebecca Voukolos and Emma Walsh in the opening match 206-193.

The first show also saw the rising stars of the sport, Blayne Fletcher and Sean Bowling, taking it to the pro team of World number one Jason Belmonte and Sam Cooley.  The match went down to the last frame and saw the young guns take the match 197-182 to throw the tournament wide open. 

In week two, viewers tuned in to see George Frilingos and Jarrod Langford defeat Ashley Warren and Chris Castle by a single pin.  Match 2 showcased the talents of Bec Whiting and Bec Martin and they took victory over Glen Loader and Lachlan Merchant, 237-224.

In week 3, viewers  witnessed a huge upset when Bec Voukolos and Emma Walsh defeated the PBA pro’s of Belmonte and Cooley in match one and saw youngsters, Blayne Fletcher and Sean Bowling, hang on in a cliff-hanger to draw the match in the final frame against David Porto and Matt Riley.

In week 4, viewers got to see the team of Ashley Warren and Chris Castle from Sunset Superbowl claim their first win of the tournament when they defeated the Oz Tenpin team of Whiting and Martin 192-188 in a thriller.  With another match to go, viewers got to see Frilingos and Langford storm to the top of Pool B, defeating the home team of Loader and Merchant.

With the grand final approaching and teams needing a win, week 5 was the time to shine for the pros when they came up against the team of Porto and Riley.  But as the game went on, the team from Orange Tenpin were sent home winless from the tournament with Porto and Riley bowling the highest game of the tournament so far to win 242-203.

In match 2, the Strathpine Hyperbowl team needed a big win against Voukolos and Walsh including a game of 252 or more, to push Riley and Porto out of the final.  With the young guns on fire viewers got to see the Queensland duo of Fletcher and Bowling win 176-169 but fall short of making the final. 

In week 6 and the last round of competition before the final, team Caboolture had fate in their own hands with a win against Whiting and Martin set to lock in a finals appearance for the pairing of Frilingos and Langford.  With the Queensland duo finding their line early in the match they took the honours 235-181 over the team from Oz Tenpin to march into the final.

The final qualifying match of the series saw Ashley Warren and Chris Castle send Glen Loader and Lachlan Merchant home winless when they won the final round match 190-184.

In the final it was the Jarrod Langford show with the Burdekin bowler dialling in for the match to see team Caboolture claim the inaugural title over Matt Riley and David Porto of Wyncity, 236-204.

If you missed any of the shows you can catch up on all 7 shows via YouTube and searching “Rollin Thunder 2017”.

Rollin' Thunder Teams

*numbers quoted relate to viewers who tuned into Rollin’ Thunder for at least 1 minute or more of all 7 shows (first run only does not include replays)