Australia’s Jessie Noronha and Ben Twist have capped off a stunning campaign at the Hong Kong International Bowls Classic over the weekend.
The pair will return to their home shores having secured half of the titles on offer at the illustrious invitational event, which boasts singles and pairs disciplines for both men and women.
Noronha was undoubtedly the tournament’s biggest winner, having prevailed in the men’s singles event on the second day of the competition, November 12, which featured a field of 128 players.
The Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club spearhead upstaged Scotland’s John Fleming with one-and-a-half sets in the final, 5-7, 5-5 to secure the blue-ribbon title.
Fleming had earlier defeated Twist in the quarter-final stages.
Noronha, who demonstrated the makings of a champion earlier in the year at the Australian Open, where he made the singles semi-final, didn’t rest on his laurels after a successful start to the event.
Instead, he united with Twist in the longer pairs event, which featured 96 players, and cut a swath through the sectional and post-sectional stages of the competition.
The pair were clinical in the business end, claiming straight-sets victories in the playoff, semi-finals and finals encounters.
Their title triumph came courtesy of a 8-7, 11-1 win against England’s David Bolt and Taylor Mark on November 19.
For Twist, the victory could be considered somewhat bittersweet, as his Sydney Lions team claimed an unprecedented three-peat of Bowls Premier League titles in his absence.
Hong Kong’s Vivian Yip won the women’s singles title in the tie-break against former Australian world champion Julie Keegan, 4-9, 9-6, 4-1.
Thailand’s Songsin Tsao and Jintana Visanuvimol secured the women’s pairs trophy, with a tie-break win against South Africa.
Australia’s Bolivia Millerick and Chloe Stewart were also granted the opportunity to experience the riggers of international competition abroad but didn’t feature in the medal stages this time around, dealt a straight-sets defeat to the eventual winners in the play-off round.
Bowls Australia congratulates all four Australian competitors and thank National Training Centre Coach Therese Hastings for leading the contingent.