The Australian Jackaroos claimed the opening gold medal of the World Bowls Championships this morning, but lost the second in harrowing circumstances on an extra-end.
Australia’s women’s fours finished off their fairytale story, which saw them topple the undefeated English contingent for the gold medal, after they were defeated in three of the opening four matches of the tournament, but the men’s triples weren’t able to replicate their heroics this afternoon.
The Old Enemy’s Jamie Walker, Andy Knapper and Robert Paxton adapted well to the Southern Hemisphere conditions, and were equally suited to the short-ends that proved to be the downfall for their women’s fours team.
It was a seesawing gold-medal decider, with the lead constantly changing and no team able to consistently collect more than a few shots, except for one 4 for Australia and a 3 for England mid-match.
The Jackaroos’ Barrie Lester, Mark Casey and Aron Sherriff were never that far out of contention, but similarly, could never establish a clear lead of more than 2 shots.
Sherriff gave his all to push the match to an extra-end, when he collected 2 shots with a weighted delivery, but was unable to achieve the same feat with his last shot on the 19th end, and were relegated to silver by 1 shot, 14-15.
It was England’s first men’s triples title win since 1980, and first world title in any men’s discipline in two decades, having won the singles and fours in 1996.
The Jackaroos will have one more chance to send international veteran Mark Casey off in style, with the men’s fours discipline poised to commence next Tuesday, set to be his swan-song.
Australia and England both have one gold and one silver medal from the opening two disciplines of the World Bowls Championships, but Australia will have the opportunity to try to strike gold on two more occasions tomorrow.
The men’s pairs final, featuring Brett Wilkie and Aaron Wilson against Ireland’s Gary Kelly and Ian McClure, will be broadcast live on Fox Sports from 7.00am AEDT tomorrow (Sunday).
Following that, Australia’s queen of the greens, Karen Murphy, will attempt to secure back-to-back women’s singles titles when she takes on Scotland’s Lesley Doig from 11.00am AEDT, also live on Fox Sports.
Congratulations to both the gold medal winning women’s fours and silver medal winning men’s triples teams.
Men’s triples final: Australia (Barrie Lester, Mark Casey, Aron Sherriff) lost to England (Jamie Walker, Andy Knapper, Robert Paxton) 14-15
Women’s fours final: Australia (Kelsey Cottrell, Carla Krizanic, Rebecca Van Asch, Natasha Scott) def England (Jamie-Lee Winch, Rebecca Wigfield, Wendy King, Ellen Faulkner) 23-8
Upcoming finals schedule:
Sunday, December 4 (day six)
7.00am – 10am AEDT: Men’s pairs final – Live on Fox Sports 4 – Australia (Brett Wilkie, Aaron Wilson) v Ireland (Gary Kelly, Ian McClure)
11.00am – 2.00pm AEDT: Women’s singles final – Live on Fox Sports 4 – Australia (K. Murphy) v Scotland (Lesley Doig)