Mums the word for returning Turley
With four-week old daughter Ruby Madison ‘watching on’, Australian Jackaroo Claire Turley has returned to the national fold with a dream start in the women’s singles at the $140,000 Australian Open at Darebin on Sunday. Returning to competitive bowls for the first time since giving birth to Ruby, Turley embarked on winning her second Australian Open in as many years on Sunday after saluting in last year’s triples event alongside Sam Shannahan and Lisa Phillips. “I’ve been playing for the last two weeks, just training most days, and Ruby just comes down and sits behind the rink,” Turley said. “It started off about half an hour a day and I just worked up to whatever I could do.” The race to make the Australian Open main draw was one that Turley was unsure she would win but she is thrilled to have got there on a limited preparation. “No, I didn’t know I would make it but I was going to try and as long as I felt fit and healthy – which I do – I thought why not and I’ve got to start somewhere and its come down to this.” Turley’s opening round encounter was against Fitzroy Victoria’s Nicole Shortis and in what looked an easy 21-9 victory on the scorecard for Turley was not so according to the Cabramatta bowler. “I wouldn’t say it was easy because she is quality opponent but I felt like I played pretty well and it’s a great way to start because that was my first match back so I was happy.” Turley, who admitted to being both eager and nervous before the match, was thrilled to put the first win away. “I was more nervous than I normally am but I was just happy to get back out there on the green and roll a few down. “I was a bit surprised with the result today because it’s hard to gauge how you’re going when you are only training and playing with yourself and especially getting on these greens which are longer and international size so I was just concentrating on bowl by bowl and end by end without thinking too much about the score-line. “You’ve just got to learn to trust yourself again and trust that you can do it so it’s just a matter of picking up the bowls and getting going again,” Turley said after her 3-month layoff. 2014 is shaping as another busy year for the new Mum as she is back in the NSW team to play Victoria in a few weeks and then her focus turns to making the NSW Australian Sides team for the championships in Burnie in March. Turley’s next match is against Tasmanian Gaylene Elsworthy at 11.00am on Monday.