Women’s fours roll into #AusOpenGC final
The $225,000 Australian Open’s women’s fours finalist are locked in, after four rounds of knockout rubbers separated the title contenders from the rest of the field today.
NSW twin young-guns Samantha Noronha and Natalie Noronha, and Australian Jackaroos pair Carla Odgers and Natasha Scott were the first team to book a berth in the $28,000 final; which will see the winning team pocket $20,000, after claiming the coveted scalp of the defending titleholders in the their semi-final tonight at Club Helensvale.
The reigning champion contingent of Anne Johns, Rebecca Van Asch, Lynsey Clarke and young-gun Ellen Ryan replacing Kelsey Cottrell advanced to within two wins of a consecutive title, courtesy of three victories on day seven of the world’s biggest bowls festival, but the quartet faced their toughest task in the semi, bowing out with a 6-11 defeat.
In the opposite side of the draw, St Johns Park aces Jan Agar, Sharon Renshaw and Beth Quinlan joined forces with Northern Territory state manager Sue Auman in second position, upstaging the awesome foursome team of Kay Moran, Carman Anderson, Julie Keegan and Karen Murphy 15-11 to book a spot in tonight’s semi-final, where they continued their golden run again Pauline Bourne, Wendy Duder, Nerrida Porteous and Lynn Browne 16-9.
Scott will meet Quinlan to determine this year’s first discipline winner when the men’s and women’s fours finals take place on Sunday from 5.00pm and Broadbeach.
In the men’s event, some tantalising semi-final line-ups have been confirmed for 5.00pm tomorrow at Broadbeach.
Last year’s finalists, the South Australian green-keeper contingent of Steven Dennis, Nathan Pederson, Wayne Ruediger and Scott Thulborn have a chance to make amends for a second place finish this week, courtesy of a 23-7 quarter-final victory, but now encounter Colin Lowry, Kelvin Scott, Gary Mounsey and former New Zealand Blackjack Brian Baldwin, who capitalised on a home-ground advance in the quarter-final at Musgrave Hill.
Baldwin, the Musgrave Hill Bowls Coordinator, powered past the all-star Malaysian line-up of Izzat Syamer Dzulkeple, Muhammad Hizlee Adb Rais, Fairul Izwan Abd Muin, Muhammad Saufi Rusli 17-8 to progress to tomorrow’s semis.
In the other half of the draw, another former New Zealand international turned Gold Coast powerhouse club Bowls Coordinator looms ominously in the draw, with Tweed Head’s Paul Girdler’s team of Dean McWhinney, Ian Law and Blackjack Shannon McIlroy ending the stellar run of young-gun Joshua Corless in the quarter-final.
Darren Christie, Jayden Christie, Nick Gosley and Corless cut a swath through the competition today, eliminating two other sets of international-laden teams including former English captain Stuart Airey and Scottish world champion Alex Marshall, but fell short against Girdler tonight, 13-16.
Girdler will face Jason Watkins, John Aldersley, David Morrison and Bruce Jones in tomorrow’s semi-final after a stunning conclusion to the quarter-final against Dane McKinnon, Cameron Wilson, and Australian Open singles winners Nathan and Aaron Wilson.
Bruce’s underdog team look almost down and out late in the contest, but found form when really mattered, picking up a staggering 8 shots on the penultimate end to gain the lead 16-14, and managed to withstand the final attack to add a further shot to the count in the last.
The Australian Open competition will shift focus to the men’s and women’s pairs elimination rounds tomorrow, with the men staged at Broadbeach and Helensvale, and the women at Musgrave Hill and Robina, before the men’s fours semi-finals ignite at 5.00pm at Broadbeach.