Australia challenged but answers with close victories

by admin

The Australian bowls team ended day six without defeat highlighted but the final two matches played at Kelvingrove that saw the men’s fours and women’s triples claim victory in their second matches of the day. The men’s fours team of Wayne Ruediger, Brett Wilkie, Nathan Rice and Matt Flapper thrilled the crowds in their epic battle with their Malaysian opponents finally winning 16-10 what many are describing as one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament so far. South Australian Wayne Ruediger led outstandingly well throughout after he opened with a toucher and his next bowl was one foot behind which is everything you could ask for in a lead. In a match that had everything, the Malaysians had answers to the Australian’s good bowls and the Australian’s followed suit when Malaysia played well which kept the crowd captivated from start to finish. Ruediger continued to put on a leading exhibition all match and solid play from both Brett Wilkie and Nathan Rice was backed up by some stellar play by skip Matthew Flapper. Despite being a close encounter, Australia were never behind on the scoreboard and it was their match-high count of four on the 13th end that had the crowd chanting “Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi” at their heroes in delight. Malaysia weren’t done with though and scored two shots on the second last end to be four down leading into the last. To ensure the crowd received full value for their money, the Malaysian team played a fantastic last end to hold four shots with only one bowl to come. Of course, that bowl would come from Aussie skip Matt Flapper. “As soon as it was half way up I knew I’d hit it,” said a beaming Flapper. Nathan Rice had turned around and was racing up the rink to congratulate Flapper well before the bowl had connected with the head. The pressure and tension were amazing. After being four shots up, and then the brilliant bowls from Malaysia to level it, Flapper needed something special but was equal to the task. “Their skip played a bomb to put us under the pump,” Flapper said “I feel great now, that obviously guarantees us a quarter final spot so I couldn’t be happier,” said a pumped up Flapper. Australia will now play New Zealand’s strong combination of Tony Grantham, Blake Signal, Richard Girvan and Ali Forsyth tomorrow in their final pool match at 3.45pm local time (12.45am AEST). In the final match on day six, our women’s triples narrowly snuck home to defeat Jersey 16-15 to secure their first win of the day after drawing with India 13-13 in an earlier session. Our team of Lynsey Clarke, Karen Murphy and Kelsey Cottrell needed to be on their game to beat the competitive team from Jersey in cold and blustery conditions here in Glasgow. It was another match where scores were never greater than three shots but fittingly three to Australia on the second last end saw the scores tied at 15 a-piece heading into the last end. The Aussies were holding shot with one bowl to come and the Jersey skip couldn’t manage to change it with her last bowl allowing the Aussies to escape a close match and were victorious 16-15. The result puts the Aussie women’s triples team in second place in their pool, but the results tomorrow may change the standings drastically given the earlier drawn match with India. “Any number of combinations could still occur given how tight the competition is but we can’t be worried about that,” National coach Steve Glasson said. “What will be will be and we’ll just focus on our next match which is Malaysia.” When asked about the chances for that match, Glasson said, “they’re a quality team and undefeated so they’re clearly playing well. “The bottom line is, if we play our best we can beat anyone, if we don’t then we have to rely on other results and we obviously don’t want to do that. “But we won’t get ahead of ourselves, we can’t play the match until tomorrow,” Glasson quipped. The match will be covered on Twitter by Bowls Australia (@bowlsaustralia) commencing at 11:45am …