Rebecca Van Asch will get a chance at redemption, Canadian raider Kelly McKerihen has staked her claim on the silverware and Jeremy Henry is just one win away from a three-peat, as the Australian Indoor Championships poises for a powder-keg finish tomorrow.
The $30,000 Australian Indoor Championships is set for a climatic conclusion at Tweed Heads tomorrow, with a blockbuster women’s final locked in, and one half of the men’s decider confirmed.
Van Asch will attempt to extract revenge after finishing with a silver medal from last year’s event, but faces one final hurdle, in Canadian international Kelly McKerihen, after both advanced through the semi-final stages today.
The dual world champion ended the hopes of fellow Australian Jackaroo teammate Ellen Ryan on her final delivery of a three-end tie-break, while McKerihen secured a semis spot with a straight sets victory over Cabramatta’s Dianne Davis.
While the $6,000 first-place prize purse is an enticing prospect, there’s a consolation prize for Van Asch should lose tomorrow’s final, which is scheduled for 11.00am, with a berth in next year’s World Cup already assured, given McKerihen doesn’t qualify to represent Australia.
Both the men’s and women’s singles champions are afforded entry into the following year’s World Cup by virtue of their victory.
“I’ve seen Kelly play many times representing Canada,” Van Asch said after progressing.
“But I’ve never played against her in a singles game myself, so I’ll go out there with my own game plan.”
In the men’s event, two-time defending champion Jeremy Henry is one win shy from a momentous three-peat, but does not yet know who stands in his way.
Henry, who has already claimed the coveted title three times after prevailing in 2011 before a three-year hiatus, secured a tie-break victory against soon-to-be capped Australian representative Ben Twist, 9-6, 3-9, 4-2, in this afternoon’s semi-final.
If Henry can achieve the hat-trick of victories, he will join a small and illustrious list of back-to-back-to-back winners, which to date only includes nine-time winner Steve Glasson and six-time champion Karen Murphy.
Henry’s next opponent will be either Engadine’s David Ferguson or Forster’s Dylan Riley, with their semi-final encounter scheduled for 9.00am.
The Australian Indoor Championships continues at Tweed Heads tomorrow, with the second men’s semi-final and both finals.
All semi-finals and final encounters are filmed for delayed coverage on SBS’ The Bowls Show, to be shown each Sunday from September 24 to October 22.
Women’s semi-final 1:Kelly McKerihen (Clayton) def Dianne Davis (Cabramatta) 8-7, 9-3
Men’s semi-final 1: Jeremy Henry (Warilla) def Ben Twist (St Johns Park) 9-6, 3-9, 4-2
Women’s semi-final 2: Rebecca Van Asch (Invermay) def Ellen Ryan (Cabramatta) 5-12, 8-7, 2-1
Thursday’s finals schedule:
9am – Men’s semi-final 2: Dylan Riley (Forster) v David Ferguson (Engadine)
11am – Women’s final: Kelly McKerihen (Clayton) v Rebecca Van Asch (Invermay)
2pm – Men’s final: Jeremy Henry (Warilla) v winner of men’s semi-final 2