The Australian Jackaroos have progressed to the post-sectional rounds of all four remaining disciplines at the World Bowls Championships, but are currently only assured of one additional bronze medal.
The contingent will need to earn their way through to the medal deciders in three elimination finals tomorrow morning, starting from 7.00am AEDT.
It’s somewhat of a case of déjà vu, given the Jackaroos finished in exactly the same position a week ago, during the first four rounds of competition, which ultimately saw them secure three gold and one silver medal.
Carla Krizanic, Natasha Scott and Rebecca Van Asch are the only Australians assured of an additional medal at the competition, and have earned a morning reprieve by topping the pool with an eighth victory this afternoon, over Ireland.
The trio will look to turn their bronze into a gold or silver against the winner of Scotland and South Africa in the semi; with the girls likely to favour South Africa after suffering their only blemish so far to Scotland in round seven this morning.
However, the remaining three line-ups will need to gear-up in their green and gold kit first thing tomorrow morning and start fresh in what can only be described as daunting elimination encounters.
Aron Sherriff will go into his men’s singles elimination match full of confidence, after downing the top-of-the-table Ryan Bester in the last post sectional encounter today.
He faces Wales’ Jonathan Tomlinson, who he overcame 20-8 in the sectional rubbers, with the winner to encounter the host-nation’s Shannon McIlroy – who Sherriff defeated to earn a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
His teammates, the men’s fours unit of Barrie Lester, Brett Wilkie, Aaron Wilson and Mark Casey didn’t have the most enjoyable day on the green, with two defeats in the last two rounds marring their campaign, and relegating them from first to third.
The quartet can take some solace from the fact that, in essence, everything starts from scratch tomorrow and just three victories will secure a coveted, and in the case of Lester and Casey, an elusive, gold medal.
They face the United States of America, in what is a genuine good-news story for their nation, with the winner to play Ireland in the semi-final – where Australia, if they make it, will be looking for revenge on their seventh round, 18 shot defeat.
Similarly, Kelsey Cottrell and Karen Murphy’s women’s pairs campaign was spoiled somewhat by two last round losses, but thankfully, they didn’t impact on the final result very much at all.
The pair still finished in second spot to the undefeated New Zealand, who they trailed since the third round, and have drawn the third-placed England team in their randomly-selected elimination match.
The duo hold the wood over the Old Enemy’s Sophie Tolchard and Ellen Falkner, but only by a slender 2 shots during a seventh round win this morning.
Their side of the draw remains completely in-tact from the sectional stages, with the winner of Australia and England set to face take on New Zealand in a titanic semi-final tussle.
All four finals, regardless of whether Australians are competing, will be broadcast live on Fox Sports from 7.00am AEDT on both Saturday and Sunday.
The Australian Jackaroos are guaranteed of three gold, one silver and one bronze medal from the eight disciplines at a minimum, but are hopeful of adding a further three medallions to the count with wins tomorrow morning.
Round 9: 1.45pm – 4.45pm AEDT
Men’s singles (section 1): Australia (Aron Sherriff) def Canada (Ryan Bester) 21-16 (Papanui)
Men’s fours (section 2): Australia (Barrie Lester, Brett Wilkie, Aaron Wilson, Mark Casey) lost England (Louis Ridout, Andy Knapper, Robert Paxton, Sam Tolchard) 14-16 (Fendalton)
Women’s pairs (section 1): Australia (Kelsey Cottrell, Karen Murphy) lost to Canada (Jackie Foster, Shirley Fitzpatrick-Wong) 15-16 (Fendalton)
Women’s triples (section 1): Australia (Carla Krizanic, Natasha Scott, Rebecca Van Asch) vs Ireland (Cliodhna Eadie, Alicia Weir, Sandra Bailie) 21-8 (Burnside)
Men’s singles elimination-final: Australia (Aron Sherriff) vs Wales (Jonathan Tomlinson) – Winner to play New Zealand (Shannon McIlroy)
Men’s fours elimination-final: Australia (Barrie Lester, Brett Wilkie, Aaron Wilson, Mark Casey) vs United States of America (Aaron Zangl, Scott Roberts, James Flower, Charlie Herbert) – winner to play Ireland (Simon Martin, Neil Mulholland, Ian McClure, Martin McHugh)
Women’s pairs elimination-final: Australia (Kelsey Cottrell, Karen Murphy) vs England (Sophie Tolchard, Ellen Falkner) – winner to play New Zealand (Angela Boyd, Jo Edwards)
Women’s triples semi-final: Australia to play the winner of Scotland (Julie Forrest, Stacey McDougall, Claire Johnston) v South Africa (Sylvia Burns, Susan Nel, Elma Davis)