A king has been dethroned and David Ferguson has emerged as bowls’ newest national indoor champion.
Engadine’s Ferguson achieved the seemingly impossible, disposing of two-time reigning titleholder and three-time event winner Jeremy Henry in this afternoon’s coveted Australian Indoor Championships men’s final at Tweed Heads.
Despite dropping the first set, 6-11, Ferguson rallied to claim the next set, 8-6, as well as the opening shot of the tie-break, before putting the game out of contention with a further 3 shots on the next, eventually walking away with the silverware 4-2.
“It’s a surreal feeling,” Ferguson said after prevailing.
“I came here with the attitude of ‘take every game as it comes’ and it’s been the most relaxed tournament I’ve ever played, so that’s something I can take away for the future.
“Jeremy is a good mate and a good bloke to play against, he is always talking through the match, but it was great to be here and great to win.”
Both Ferguson and Henry will compete at next year’s World Cup, with Ferguson earning the right by virtue of his win today, while Henry is also afforded entry to defend his crown at that event, where he will go in search of an historic sixth title.
“To wear the green and gold is a massive honour and one I won’t take lightly,” Ferguson said.
In the women’s event, Rebecca Van Asch became the first Tasmanian to claim the title in the 30-year history of the men’s competition and 15 stagings of the women’s event.
In a tense battle Van Asch sealed the first set 9-4, before Canadian international representative Kelly McKerihen forged a come-from-behind 7-5 second set win.
A tense tie-break ensued after both players won an end each to make sure the coveted title came down to one final end.
McKerihen attempted a strong drive with her final bowl that narrowly missed, leaving Van Asch with two shots to clinch the victory.
Van Asch said she was very emotional after tasting her first ever national indoor championship triumph.
“That was a really tough game and I was really happy with the way I started and things were going really well, but things got really tight there at the end so it was really nice to come away with a win after going down to the last end of the tie-break,” Van Asch said after triumphing.
Van Asch was understandably proud to be the only Tasmanian to claim the silverwear.
“A lot of people know that I’m a very patriotic Tasmanian so it’s fantastic to have this title for Tassie,” Van Asch said.
“To finally get the victory for Tasmania is fantastic.”
The Australian Indoor Championships will return to Tweed Heads next year from August 20 to 23, with Rebecca Van Asch and David Ferguson afforded direct entry to defend their titles.
Women’s final: Rebecca Van Asch (Invermay) def Kelly McKerihen (Clayton) 9-4, 5-7, 4-2
Men’s final: David Ferguson (Engadine) def Jeremy Henry (Warilla) 6-11, 8-6, 4-2