Wall-to-wall finals for Aussies in Glasgow

by admin

Australia have made their mark on the second half of the bowls competition at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with four disciplines progressing to the knockout play-off section where medals are now well and truly in arms reach. Aron Sherriff is telling the world he is a man on a mission following two of the most crucial victories of his singles career defeating England’s Sam Tolchard and Wales’ Robert Weale en-route to finishing top in his pool group and progressing to a quarter-final showdown against Muhammad Hizlee Abdul Rais from Malaysia. Joining Sherriff in the quarter-final stage of the tournament is the men’s fours combination of Wayne Ruediger, Brett Wilkie, Nathan Rice and Matthew Flapper who confront Wales and Carla Odgers and Natasha Scott representing the green and gold in the women’s pairs who have made a quarter-final appointment with Jersey. The only team that won’t be competing over coming days in a quarter-final is the women’s triples team of Lynsey Clarke, Karen Murphy and Kelsey Cottrell and that is due to the fact they have already overcome that challenge and have qualified for a semi-final encounter against Fiji. Of the upcoming quarter-final matches, Sherriff opens proceedings at 5.45pm AEST on Thursday evening (8.45am local time) and Sherriff, based on recent form, looks extremely ominous. The 28-year-old from Ettalong Memorial on the Central Coast of NSW was virtually guaranteed a spot in the post-sectional playoffs before his match against Weale but just being “satisfied” isn’t in the DNA of the man they call ‘Omar’. He was up against one of the giants of the sport and a man steeped in singles history at the Commonwealth Games with a bronze, silver and gold medal in 2002, 2006 and 2010 respectively taking his overall tally across all disciplines to six. It’s fair to say the game was lop-sided from the start when Sherriff careered to a 5-0 lead and never looked like being challenged but Weale with Sherriff holding as much as a 12-shot lead at the midway point of the 20-end encounter, eventually winning 21-11. Australian assistant coach Robbie Dobbins was suck for words after the match as he knows his charge is in red hot form. “Omar was very solid today, very pleasing to watch,” Dobbin said. “He’s one of the very best in the world and if he plays like we know he can, look out.” Clarke, Murphy and Cottrell also have a point prove in the triples following narrowly missing knockout stage qualification in their opening disciplines of fours (Clarke and Murphy) and singles (Cottrell) and redemption is categorically on track. The trio were dominant in their 25-8 quarter-final victory over Fiji in what was another do-or-die affair them all well aware a loss in this match would signal a premature end to their Glasgow campaigns – but it was not to be. The Fijian ladies were only able claim counts in their favour on five of the 16 ends played with their biggest count of three coming very early in the match on the 6th end. Clarke, Murphy and Cottrell can now look ahead to a semi-final showdown with South Africa’s Esme and Susanna Steyn and Susanna Nel at 9.45pm AEST (12.45pm local time) Thursday night they defeated hosts Scotland. “That was a great hit out today, a great confidence booster,” National coach Steve Glasson said post match. “That’s what it’s all about, a good start and keep the pressure on. A 16-9 victory to Ruediger, Wilkie, Rice and Flapper secured the men’s fours juggernaut a well-earned quarter-final appearance against Wales after their hard-fought victory against arch-rivals from across the Tasman, New Zealand. The Australian men know the New Zealand players of Tony Grantham, Shannon McIlroy and Ali Forsyth very well as they who have spent a lot of time in Australia playing over many years so as usual, the game was played in great spirit in front of a healthy and appreciative crowd. Never more than three shot separate the two strong nations in the first of the match and the Kiwis enjoyed that …