Flapper’s fours find form
Australia’s men’s fours combination of Wayne Ruediger, Brett Wilkie, Nathan Rice and Matthew Flapper have taken to Glasgow’s Kelvingrove greens in a last ditch bid to return to home soil as Commonwealth Games champions this afternoon, Scotland time. After succumbing in the triples semi-final only hours earlier, the contingent, now benefiting from the addition of world champion Wilkie, commenced their final charge at a coveted gold medal in an opening round encounter against Papua New Guinea. With countries once again settling in for the long haul of five sectional rubbers after the cross-over to alternating disciplines, which now includes bowlers with a disability triples, men’s singles and fours, and women’s pairs and triples, this match felt a far cry away from the ‘cut the tension with a butter knife’ atmosphere of the earlier semis. Given the significance of winning every sectional match was illustrated over the past three days, with Kelsey Cottrell missing a quarter-final berth by a 2 shot margin over five matches and two losses narrowly halting our women’s fours’ advancement, the quartet needed to be song early in a match that could have shaped up to be a David v Goliath affair. Thankful, they left nothing to chance, landing blow after blow against their opponents from the onset. Before long it had escalated to 10 shot buffer at 14-4, with a final score of 20-8 posted on the results’ board. “Fours is something our guys are very comfortable with given its prevalence back home,” High Performance Coordinator Peter Brown said after the win. “It was a good hit out and we’ll go to bed happy about that performance tonight.” National Coach Steve Glasson knows only too well how crucial early pool matches are to win. “We saw with our women’s fours they dropped a match that they probably should have won in the sectional play and you could argue that cost them a spot in the finals,” Glasson said. “But this was a good first up win against a team that always has a chance to beat anybody.” The men’s fours will enjoy a moment of respite with a bye schedule for round two, and will play their next match on Tuesday against Norfolk Island in round three. Caption: Matt Flapper is in fine form skipping the fours. Image: Getty Images.