The Trans Tasman Test Series is poised for an exciting conclusion this afternoon, after Australia and New Zealand split the results of this morning’s final test.
Australia and New Zealand each won one men’s and one women’s battle this morning during the opening session of the final test, which leaves the door ajar for either nation to clinch the overall Trans Tasman honours during the remaining two sessions at Broadbeach Bowls Club.
New Zealand claimed a stunning one-shot victory in the men’s triples, 15-14, after trailing Australia 6-14 with five ends remaining.
Tony Grantham, Paul Girdler and Ali Forsyth made up significant ground, securing 9 shots over the last five ends to leave Australia’s Wayne Ruediger, Nathan Rice and Aron Sherriff in their wake.
It was a similar tale in the women’s triples, but it was Australia who came from the clouds to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Ellen Ryan, Lynsey Clarke and Rebecca Van Asch found themselves 9-14 down with five ends remaining, pegged their way back to level ground on the penultimate end, and sealed New Zealand’s fate with 3 shots on the last, to prevail 17-14.
The Blackjacks handed Australia its first loss in the women’s pairs, with Val Smith and Jo Edwards getting the better of Kelsey Cottrell and Karen Murphy 19-15.
The Jackaroos’ reigning world pairs champions, Brett Wilkie and Aaron Wilson were triumphant against Mike Kernaghan and Shannon McIlroy 17-12.
Both teams will vie for the ascendancy in the next session’s singles and fours contests, before this afternoon’s final encounters revert back to pairs and triples.
Australia has already claimed the honours in the Para-sport and Development events, after reaching an assailable lead across the initial two tests.
Caption: The Trans Tasman is set for a nail-biting finish, as New Zealand’s Mandy Boyd suggests.