Two of the Australian Jackaroos teams have suffered setbacks to their World Bowls Championships campaigns on the last day of sectional play in Christchurch this morning.
Unfortunately for Aron Sherriff, India’s Sunil Bahadur continued his reputation as a giant-killer of the competition, which he earned after toppling Canada’s Ryan Bester in the opening round on Tuesday, with an unpredicted 18-21 upset.
As a result, Sherriff has dropped to third in his pool, behind Scotland’s Darren Burnett by 10 shots, and Bester has a one-game buffer in pole position.
Sherriff, who only needs to place third to advance to the elimination-final against a randomly selected opponent from the second and third place finishers of both pools, will look to respond against Guernsey from 10.15am AEDT.
The rest of the nation will hope Bahadur claims his third prized scalp, when he encounters Burnett.
The stage is almost set for a blockbuster finish, with Sherriff and Bester poised for a showdown in the final round.
Australia’s Carla Krizanic, Natasha Scott and Rebecca Van Asch were riding a wave of success after claiming the women’s fours gold medal last weekend, and were undefeated after six rounds in the women’s triples, but also encountered a small hurdle this morning.
The trio were upstaged by Scotland, 9-22, who are always fierce opposition despite their mid-ladder ranking.
The outcome wasn’t as damaging for the trio as it was for Sherriff, given they had a two-game buffer over the rest of the field.
It’s just a one-game margin now, but they also have an 80 better shot differential than second-placed Wales, with just the two matches remaining; where they face Brunei and Ireland.
This morning’s results were decidedly more favourable for the men’s fours and women’s pairs line-ups.
Barrie Lester, Brett Wilkie, Aaron Wilson and Mark Casey’s 27-6 win against Japan has ensured they remain the top-of-the-table going into the penultimate sectional round.
The quartet, who haven’t lost a match, are 2 points clear of Ireland due to a drawn match, who relegated England to third with their victory over the Old Enemy this morning.
However, the Jackaroos have their two toughest contests ahead of them to finish sectional rubbers, in both Ireland and England.
Kelsey Cottrell and Karen Murphy continue to snap at the heels of host-nation New Zealand in the women’s pairs, with a 17-15 win against England this morning.
The pair are one-loss behind the Blackjacks, who beat them in the third round, but are two games clear of third-placed Philippines, meaning it would be very difficult, but not impossible, for them not to progress to the elimination-final.
They will look to ensure their place in the post-sectionals with a win against Cyprus in the next round.
Thursday, December 8 (day nine)
Round 7: 6.15am – 9.15am AEDT
Men’s singles (section 1): Australia (Aron Sherriff) lost to India (Sunil Bahadur) 18-21 (Papanui)
Men’s fours (section 2): Australia (Barrie Lester, Brett Wilkie, Aaron Wilson, Mark Casey) def Japan (Munehisa Miyazaki, Koichi Sakamoto, Hisaharu Sathoh, Kenich Emura) 27-6 (Fendalton)
Women’s pairs (section 1): Australia (Kelsey Cottrell, Karen Murphy) def England (Sophie Tolchard, Ellen Falkner) 17-15 (Fendalton)
Women’s triples (section 1): Australia (Carla Krizanic, Natasha Scott, Rebecca Van Asch) lost to Scotland (Julie Forrest, Stacey McDougall, Claire Johnston) 9-22 (Burnside)