Jackaroos off to a winning start in Glasgow

by admin

The Australian Jackaroos have commenced their campaign in the Northern Hemisphere in spectacular fashion on the first morning of competition, with the lawn bowls encounters officially signalled the start of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The men’s triples contingent of Wayne Ruediger, Nathan Rice and Matthew Flapper and the women’s fours line-up of Carla Odgers, Natasha Scott, Lynsey Clarke and Karen Murphy got the green and gold nation off to a winning start in the 8.45am BST (5.45pm AEST) rubbers, but they weren’t without early scares. Despite being more than 6,200km from their country of representation, Pakistan’s triples team of Maqsood Khan, Mohammed Qureshi and Muzahir Shan boasted a home-ground like advantage over their unsuspecting visitors and were quick to capitalise on their advantage. Qureshi and Shan were both born in Pakistan and later immigrated to Scotland, where they have been running a popular curry restaurant only a two-minute stroll from the site of the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony. The pair are members of Scottish Clarkston Bowling Club, and have more than twenty years of knowledge of the sport under the belts, but have never represented their country of origin until receiving a call up for the Games. The nations trade blows over the first dozen ends, with the lead swapping multiple times. Anxiety levels really kicked up a gear when scores became level at 12-a piece after 15 ends, before the Jackaroos blasted their way to 2 shots, followed by 4 on the penultimate end and then 1 shot on the 18th to seal their opening rubber win. “It was a good performance from the boys,” Assistant National Coach Robbie Dobbins said following the first win for Australia. “After last nights opening ceremony the team was on a high ready for the first day of competition. “We had some tired looking faces this morning after a late finish at the opening ceremony but we got the win, that’s all that matters at this stage. “On a few occasions we held big numbers but Pakistan managed to really limit us with the last bowl. That’s the way the game is played, full credit to them.” Odgers, Scott, Clarke and Murphy found proceedings against Papua New Guinea slightly more on their terms, but were never able to extent their lead to more than a handful of shots at any given stage. The team were left without a standout player, but gelled well enough to secure a maiden victory, defeating Haro Raka, Jane Wangon, Angela Simbinali and Monding Tiba, 12-10. Having capitalised in the early rubbers, attention shifted to Kelsey Cottrell, as she embarked on a quest to claim Australia’s first ever Commonwealth Games women’s singles gold medal, and the acclaimed men’s pairs combination of Brett Wilkie and Aron Sherriff in their 11.45am BST (8.45pm AEST) matches. Cottrell’s performance left little to the imagination of how serious she is in the pursuit of a maiden gold medallion, with her match finished in a flash as she penciled in a final score of 21-10 against the Isle of Man’s Bernice McGreal. Wilkie and Sherriff, who many pundits are also tipping to go all the way and clinch the coveted silverware, produced an equally emphatic 25-11 win over the Cook Island’s Munokokura Pita and Tuatiaki Papatua, who were valiant in defeat but outclassed by their star-powered rivals. The smiles stopped there however, with the vision impaired mixed pairs, who are competing for one of two full-medals in the bowls parasport disciplines, unable to make it a clean sweep of the opening round. Grouped in the pool of death with Scotland, England and Wales joining Australia, Joy Forster (Bruce Jones – Director) and Tony Scott (Peter Scott – Director) dropped an arm wrestle encounter against the Old Enemy 13-17. With only three sectional rounds for the vision impaired discipline, it will an uphill battle to progress to the ultimate decider from here. National Coach Steve Glasson said he was pleased with the team’s efforts but expected the calibre of their …