Australia claim first silver medal in Glasgow
Stalwarts of the Australian bowls team Lynsey Clarke, Karen Murphy and Kelsey Cottrell are bringing home a silver medal from the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games following their disappointing women’s triples final defeat at the hands of England overnight. The trio lost the gold medal play-off match to Sophie Tolchard, Ellen Falkner and Sian Gordon 22-4 in cool and windy conditions at the Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre. Expectations of a close and gritty encounter were high but the match played contrastingly different with the English women skipping out to an 11-0 lead after three ends leaving the Aussie girls reeling and needing to arrest the start England had. Australia scored their first shot on the 4th end and then had to wait until the 11th end to secure their second, at the time making the score line 2-20 in favour of England. Over the next four ends, both team picked a couple of shots each and the match ended emphatically in the favour of England to the tune of an 18-shot victory after only 15 of the scheduled 18 ends. “They (England) played fantastic bowls tonight,” National Coach Steve Glasson said. “They were on song from the get go and we just seemed to have no answers. “It’s still a great effort by our girls though because to win a Commonwealth Games silver medal is a remarkable achievement,” Glasson said. In winning the women’s triples silver medal, Karen Murphy becomes a four-time Commonwealth Games medallist having won silver in Kuala Lumpur (fours) in 1998 and again in Manchester (singles) in 2002 followed by her gold medal in Melbourne (pairs) in 2006 with Clarke. For Clarke and Cottrell, they are now proud owners of their second Games medals with Clarke’s first medal coming alongside Murphy in the women’s pairs in Melbourne in 2006 when they won gold and Cottrell’s first courtesy of singles bronze medal in Delhi four years ago. While Clarke, Murphy and Cottrell must be content with silver, the men’s fours team of Wayne Ruediger, Brett Wilkie, Nathan Rice and Matthew Flapper will be playing for a bronze medal following their 10-15 semi-final loss to home-town heroes Scotland. The Aussie foursome will face India in the bronze medal play-off at 9.45pm (AEST) tonight. The parochial Scottish fans ensured that at times it felt as though there were ten times the amount fans in the grandstands with the roar of the Scottish crowd who cheered on their heroes from the first to the last bowl. Scotland jumped out to an early 1-7 lead, but the Aussie rink strung together consecutive ends to see the score back to 4-7 before Scotland began to again pull away. From that point on, Australia went toe-to-toe with the Scots but could never bank more than two shots on any one end and with eight shots to six in favour of the host nation over the final ends, the lead of Scotland’s throughout was enough to stave off Australia to record the five-shot win. “We certainly didn’t play badly tonight, they were just exceptional,” Assistant Coach Kelvin Kerkow said. “Our guys played actually played really well. The match finished in persistent rain but the crowd stuck around as the spectacle was too great to miss. “It was one of the best matches I’ve ever seen, and trust me when I say that because I’ve been around bowls for a while,” Kerkow added. The men’s fours will play off for bronze against India’s Kamal Kumar Sharma, Chandon Kumar Singh, Samit Molhotra and Dinesh Kumar at 9.45pm (AEST) tonight. Aron Sherriff will play Shannon McIlroy (NZL) for a bronze medal in the men’s singles at 2.45am (AEST) tomorrow (Sat) morning.