Raymond Terrace Bowling Club’s Natasha Scott claimed her maiden Australian Open title after delivering the match winner on the last play of the women’s fours final, Josh Callinan reports for the Maitland Mercury.
The 24-year-old Australian representative drew the jack through a narrow gap to break the deadlock and clinch the crown for her side following a see-sawing decider on the Gold Coast on Sunday night.
“It was an unbelievable game,” Scott said.
“I’m absolutely over the moon.”
Scott, fellow Jackaroo Carla Odger and NSW South Coast twins Samantha and Natalie Noronha overcame Jan Agar, Sue Auman, Sharyn Renshaw and Beth Quinlan 15-14 in the epic encounter.
Scores were tied five times throughout the fixture at Broadbeach Bowling Club, but on the third last of 15 ends Scott’s side picked up four shots and went three ahead only to surrender the same at the next end.
This put them one down going into the last and by the time Scott stepped up to the mat the skip needed to make her bowl count.
“I was very, very nervous,” Scott said.
“Those bowls were worth $3000 – that was the difference in prize money between runner-up and winning for each player.”
Proceedings had been levelled by third Odger, which would have forced an extra end, but two-time Commonwealth Games representative Scott opted against playing it safe and chased the win.
It paid off to the tune of a $20,000 cheque after Scott rested her last bowl on the jack.
“I had about four inches to draw another shot and win the game,” she said.
“If I didn’t draw one we would have gone to an extra end but I ended up with a back toucher.”
Scott’s fours side had been assembled six months ago and negotiated seven matches in three days to make the decider, including an 11-6 semi-final win over fellow national player Lynsey Clarke.
Earlier at the tournament Scott and Anne Johns, who played against one another in the women’s fours semifinal, teamed up in the pairs but were eliminated after making the last eight.
Scott continued her Australian Open campaign on Monday in the singles knockout rounds.