It was fitting that the final of the Australian Gateball Championship was between a Southport Red team from the host state, Queensland, and the runners up in the last Australian Gateball Championships, Kew from Victoria. The Southport Red Team had won the QLD Gateball Teams Championships in September 2021.
Like many games in the competition, the final was closely fought, with Kew winning 11 – 9. A late agari scored by Elaine Coverdale clinched the game.
The analysis of the game from Philip Brown, Captain of Kew -“The final was a tense tussle. Kew had the red balls and strategically protected gate 2 longer than you normally would, deliberately declining attempts on gate 2 in the second round. Much of the mid-game was jockeying for position. Both teams attempted touches of opponent’s balls, rather than scoring attempts. Towards the end of the game, ball 9 made gate 3 from some distance and just missed the goal pole. However, an excellent long-distance touch from ball 1 allowed 9 to be sparked Agari. This gave Kew a solid 4 point lead. At the call of time the game was still live – though it would have required a superb cross-court touch from gate 2 to gate 3. In the end, the Agari of ball 9 proved decisive.”
Speaking at the end of the game, Philip Brown acknowledged the late Trish Watts and Kerry Seipolt, who has recently been unwell. Both had been important members of previous Kew teams. The biggest smile was on the face of Gilon Smith, as this is the third time he has played in a winning team at Australian Gateball Championships.