New Zealand has ended the world bowls championships on a high, with Shannon McIlroy winning the men’s singles gold in Christchurch this afternoon.
The Kiwi beat Canada’s Ryan Bester 21-17 after 22 ends in the men’s singles final.
McIlroy pulled away from Bester midway through the contest, leading 17-9 after 15 ends. But the Canadian’s drives kept him in the game and he narrowed the gap to 20-17 before McIlroy closed out the match.
He becomes just the second New Zealander to win gold in the event since Peter Bellis in 1984.
McIlroy reflected after the final that “all those days missing school, going down to the bowling club” had paid off.
“I knew I’d have my work cut out [against Bester] and that I’d have to play really well,” said McIlroy. “Everyone who’s been involved in the preparation for this event has worked really hard and I’m rapt that it’s all paid off.
This means everything in the world.”
In this morning’s final, Jo Edwards and Angela Boyd had to settle for silver in the women’s pair. The New Zealand duo were beaten 16-15 by Wales in an absorbing final.
Jess Sims and Laura Daniels led throughout and held off a Blackjacks comeback over the closing ends. Edwards and Boyd needed to pick up two shots on the 18th to force an extra end but were only able to come up with one.
New Zealand finished the world championships with two gold medals, one silver and four bronzes. Mike Nagy, Mike Kernaghan, Blake Signal and Ali Forsyth yesterday won New Zealand’s first gold of the event, crushing Australia 23-4 in the men’s fours final.