Formidable forces find form at #AusOpenGC
The lucrative $225,000 Australian Open showcased some of the nation’s best women today, as they staked their claim on this year’s coveted pairs title across five Gold Coast clubs.
Cabramatta golden girls Kay Moran and Karen Murphy headline a strong list of combatants earning a berth in the knockout stages of the event through sectional rounds at Broadbeach Bowls Club today.
The 2011 title winners prevailed in all three women’s pairs sectional matches on the fifth day to progress to the knockout stages of the world’s biggest bowls festival, powering through their qualifying matches with a clinical 33-3, 19-9 and 31-7 display to book a berth in the elimination rounds and advance one step closer to the pointy end of the competition.
An Australian Jackaroos pairing of 19 year-old capped representative Chloe Stewart and Tasmania’s only world champion Rebecca Van Asch eased their way into the elimination rounds with three comprehensive victories across the Broadbeach greens, prevailing 16-11, 22-10, 30-3.
Malaysia’s dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist Siti Zalina Ahmad and her Tiger country mate also enjoyed a favourable day in their section at Broadbeach, advancing with unblemished record.
Reigning champions Emma Brown and Noelene Dutton also kept their chances of defending their title alive, while Jackaroos star Kelsey Cottrell and Australian captain Lynsey Clarke also joined the winners’ circle to progress a step further towards regaining the trophy their last held aloft in 2013.
One half of the 2012 women’s pairs winners, Elise Cowan joined fellow Victorian spear-head Carla Odgers to escape the sectional battlefield with three victories, while Odger’s Australian teammates Kristy Thatcher and Claire Turley will also feature later in the competition.
Some big name teams weren’t as fortunate, with New Zealand’s Blackjack world champions Val Smith and Jo Edwards headlining the teams that didn’t have lady luck on their side today, unable to make amends for a second rubber loss this afternoon due to forfeited match in the third.
Victorian young-guns Tayla Spence and Samantha Shannon also won’t finish with enough shots in the black to earn a spot among the next best qualifiers.
The men’s pairs sectional rounds were also played out to completion today, after 89 sections were staged yesterday, with New Zealand singles representative Shannon McIlroy and former Blackjack turned Tweed Heads Bowls Coordinator Paul Girdler among the teams to progress.
The event shifts to the men’s and women’s fours across eight Gold Coast clubs, before the knockout rounds ignite on Friday, June 19.