Gold Coasters fire into semi-finals
Three Gold Coast residents have moved within striking distance of capturing the Australian Indoor Championships title at Tweed Heads after advancing to tomorrow’s (20/8) semi-finals. Australian Jackaroos vice-captain Brett Wilkie and former English representative Steve Halmai will square off in a Fox Sports broadcast semi, while local Tweed Heads assistant bowls coordinator Kristy Thatcher is also just two wins away from being crowned in the women’s side of the draw. Wilkie continued his alternating fortunes at the nation’s premier indoor event, having won the $30,000 event in 2010, was eliminated in the first round in 2011, lost the semi-final to Club Helensvale teammate Mark Casey in 2012, and was bundled out in the opening round again last year, by producing a gritty 6-6, 6-5 win over Chris Herden to set-up a berth against fellow Aero Bowls pin-up boy Halmai. “I just put the good ones in at the right time to get away a win,” Wilkie said. “It could have gone either way. “Steve is very familiar with every rink on these greens and is always hard to beat but I’m looking forward to the challenge.” While Halmai boasts a string of English national titles, he’s also no stranger to this event, having reached the ultimate decider back in 2003, but fell short of capturing the crown to current National Coach Steve Glasson during one of his nine Indoor victories. Another former Three Lions international also lurks ominously in the field, with St Johns Parks’ David Holt progressing through to the other semi-final after edging out Australian Jackaroos representative Barrie Lester by a slender margin 8-7, 6-7, 2-1. Given the winner of the Australian Indoor Championships is awarded entry to don the green and gold uniform at the World Cup the following year, it’s even money odds that a Englishmen will be given the honour next year. Holt, an expatriate on our shores for more than 10 years, has already been gifted the attire to represent his adopted nation at the World Champion of Champions in November, following his national win last October, and now faces the tantalising prospect of having two bites of the cherry to claim an international title for Australia. Thatcher, an Australian Jackaroos representative, will encounter 17 year-old St Johns Park young-gun Jamie-Lee Worsnop in her broadcast encounter tomorrow, after Thatcher ended the run of champion-killer Janine Katon, who dethroned Karen Murphy last night, and Worsnop edged out 2005 winner and last year’s finalist Maria Rigby. The first delayed televised semi-final will commence at 9.00am on the show rink, while Halmia and Wilkie lock horns at 11.00am, and Thatcher and Worsnop take to the carpet at 2.00pm. Click here for full results from the 2014 Australian Indoor Championships. Caption: Brett Wilkie has advanced to another Australian Indoor Championships semi-final.