Big names fall in #AusOpenGC fours
As the Australia Open fours draw nears the final stages big names are starting to fall in the world’s biggest festival of bowls.
With an open draw pinning Australia’s best against one another earlier than expected, tournament favourites have fallen victim to some of the biggest names in the sport and unknown quantities who have excelled in this event.
Ryan Bester’s team of champions, Broadbeach local hope Sean Ingham, former world champion Gary Lawson and the current New Zealand Assistant Coach were bundled out in the round of 32.
Former English captain Stuart Airey wasn’t able to match young guns Darren Christie, Jayden Christie, Nic Gosley and Joshua Corless in their round of 32 match with the three teenagers and Jayden’s father Darren, prevailing 19-9.
In the round of 16 Corless, an U’18 Australian Representative and team came up against the world’s best player Alex Marshall MBE and his team mates from his adopted club here in Australia, Warilla.
Whilst it was looking like a Marshall victory; that was short lived when Corless sat a bowl out for five on the second last end to lead the match by two going into the penultimate end.
Marshall’s last bowl was unable to make the right contact to score the two he desired to force an extra end which now sets up a quarter-final showdown between Corless and former New Zealand international Paul Girdler.
The round of 16 proved no easier with more big names dropping in front of the huge crowds across the three bowling clubs in action today.
New Zealand’s finest, Jo Edwards, Val Smith, Kristen Griffin and Selina Goddard were up against it at Club Helensvale when they met relatively unknown quantities Hume, Gunders, Heaps and Stockdale in a match that went down to the wire; the underdogs held their nerves on the last end to win the match 11-10.
Australian Jackaroos Claire Turley and Kristy Thatcher joined by South Australian representatives Breeana Dickson and Renee McPharlin met their match when they came up against fellow Australian Jackaroos Natasha Scott and Carla Odgers joined by NSW NTC Squad members Samantha and Natalie Noronha.
In what is set to be a cracking semi-final Natasha Scott will now take on last year’s champions skipped by Australian Jackaroos captain Lynsey Clarke.
In a match that was expected to be a close encounter turned out to be a one-sided affair with Natasha Scott’s team jumping away to a comfortable 14-5 victory.
2014 Australian Open runner-up’s Lewis, Read, Logan and Baxter, the team from Brisbane’s Mt Gravatt, were unable to progress any further than the round of 16 this year after losing their match 12-14 against M. Reynolds.
At Broadbeach in front of a crowd of almost 500, Matt Flapper, Dylan Fisher, Barrie Lester and Todd Simmons were unable to stop the run of the Wilson brothers, Aaron, Nathan and Cameron joined by Dane McKinnon with the last two ends of the match not needed to decide the winner.
Men’s fours quarter-finals kick off at Broadbeach at 5:30pm, 5:00pm Musgrave Hill and the women’s semi-final kicks off at 5:00pm at Helensvale.