Clarke and Johns hunt unprecedented trifecta

by admin

Australian captain Lynsey Clarke and Scottish born Australia A squad member Anne Johns will both go search of an unprecedented trifecta on the final day of the $140,000 Australian Open tomorrow. Helesvale’s Clarke and St Johns Park’s Johns remain alive in all three main-draw disciplines, the singles, pairs and fours, but only one will have the opportunity to hunt down the treble after they encounter each other in the pairs semi-final tomorrow morning. Both players have tonight secured their ticket to the $18,000 first-place blue-ribbon singles final, with Clarke getting the better of defending titleholder Lisa Phillips 21-17 and Johns gunning down world singles champion Karen Murphy 21-8. Each player faces a daunting conclusion to their Australian Open campaign, with a potential five straight matches scheduled across the disciplines to round out proceedings. The first step in their campaign will commence at 8.15am AEDT tomorrow, when they line-up alongside each other in the fours semi-final, with the star-studded team of Johns, Rebecca Van Asch, Kelsey Cottrell and Clarke raging favourites to progress to the 12.30pm fours final. They will then take to the Darein International Sports Centre greens again at 10.30am, this time squaring off against each other in the pairs semi, with defending champions Cottrell and Clarke looking to become the first back-to-back winners of the discipline, against Johns and Aussie Jackaroo Natasha Scott (nee Van Eldik). Whichever team wins that will then advance to the 3.15pm pairs final. Rounding out their full-on final day will be their 6.00pm singles showdown, with Clarke looking to be reunited with the trophy she last held aloft in 2012, while Johns tries to add another national title alongside her three Australian Open triples recordings. The pair, who are better known to spectators of the event as teammates, have two Australian Open triples titles, in 2011 and 2012, and a NSW Open triples crown together. Clarke, who has been causing headaches for event staff with scheduling clashes created from remaining in all disciplines, joked about her action-packed schedule. “I’ve played four games yesterday, five today and hopefully five tomorrow, but it’s a good problem to have,” Clarke said. “We’re playing together in the fours and pairs semis, and then hopefully the finals of those disciplines after that, but we’re good mates so the singles match should be a great final. “I love playing here at Darebin, it’s been a happy hunting ground, I think I’ve got four national titles here, but another one would be nice. “The singles is known as the blue ribbon event, but I love playing with the girls in the fours and would relish getting a title with the Aussie squad players, and Kelsey and I are defending our pairs title so to win that back-to-back would be cool. “To win anything down here is an achievement because it’s one of the toughest events to get through qualifying, let alone win a title.” After knocking off arguably the sport’s premier singles representative in current World Championships singles and World Champion of Champion gold medallist Karen Murphy, Johns said she won’t be looking too far ahead to the singles gold medal, but will focus on her pairs and fours events now. “It’s amazing to have made the singles final, but I don’t have any expectations, just to have made it is great,” Johns declared. “To win it would be amazing though, because I’ve become a mum this year so that would really just top the year off.” Live streaming of the fours finals will commence at 12.30pm AEDT , the pairs at 3.15pm and the singles at 6.00pm, free of charge on bowlsaustralia.com.au.