Narrow victories all round for Jackaroos

by admin on July 29, 2014

Unlike his opening singles encounter of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow against Niue where he cruised to a decisive 21-6 victory, Aron Sherriff didn’t have things his own way against his opponent today, Kenyan Ngugi Waweru Njuguna, who he defeated 21-17. Sherriff started well with a 5-1 lead after four ends and an 8-4 lead after eight ends before Njuguna rallied strongly to level the match on the eleventh end from which point they traded shots in what was a crowd-pleasing bout. After 18 ends, the three-time International Bowler of the Year again enjoyed a handy buffer of four shots but the Kenyan was not done with just yet and in fact got his nose in front for only the second time (he lead 12-10 after 14) when he lead Sherriff by one shot 17-16 after 21 ends before Sherriff five unanswered shots over the final two ends to claim a 21-17 victory. “Any win is a good win but we’ve got to be better than that, and that doesn’t mean Aron played that bad, we can just get better,” National Assistant Coach Robbie Dobbins said. “Across the whole team our first bowl needs to be better, we tend to spray them a bit. “The bottom line is we will need to tidy up a bit, but let’s hope that’s his (Sherriff) close one out of the way,” Dobbins said. When asked about his Kenyan opponent, Dobbins said “people underestimate them, but not us.” “This is the team that pushed the Scotland fours all the way so we knew it was going to be tougher than most thought,” Dobbins said. Sherriff’s next match is at 8.45am Wednesday morning local time (5.45pm Wednesday night AEST) against the highly fancied English representative Sam Tolchard who at his last outing accounted for Wales’ Robert Weale, the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist from Delhi in 2010. While Sherriff was involved in his tight battle on the one rink, the Australian women’s pairs duo of Carla Odgers and Natasha Scott were battling out a classic tussle of their own against Papua New Guinea for third round honours and came out eventual 13-12 victors. Scores were level 12-12 heading into the 18th and final end and it was the fourth time in the match that nothing separated the two countries on the scoreboard. The Jackaroos faced a 6-12 deficit after 12 ends but strung together six unanswered shots to take the lead at 12-11 before Papua New Guinea levelled on the second last end and were eventually no match for the Aussies who won it 13-12. Some of the Aussie fans cheering on from the sidelines claimed the match “wasn’t pretty” but the match still had the crowd on their feet as game neared its conclusion. The two matches played so far for Odgers and Scott (they had a 2nd round bye) could not be more contrasting after a 30-9 thrashing of Niue in the first round in a match they were never in trouble during. The same could not be said for their most recent outing against Papua New Guinea and skip Scott agreed in a post-match interview. “Basically the whole game we thought we were gone but then the last five ends we played a lot more aggressive and that worked,” a relieved Scott said. “We feel fantastic now that it’s over. “The last end Carla put three within three feet so I just played cover bowls,” Scott said. “Our opponents were fantastic, they could have beaten anyone with the way they played today. We’ve learned to never underestimate other teams in this competition.” The women will contest the next round against the Northern Ireland combination of Mandy Cunningham and Barbara Cameron at 8.45am Wednesday morning local time (5.45pm Wednesday night AEST). Men’s singles round 3: Aron Sherriff (AUS) def Ngugi Waweru Njuguna (KEN) 21-17 Women’s pairs round 3: Carla Odgers and Natasha Scott (AUS) def Jane Wangon and Catherine Wimp (PNG) 13-12 Image: Natasha Scott in action