Laura Merz Triumphs in WA State Singles

by Pieter Harris

Laura Merz (Manning) has survived a fighting come back from Kerry Andersen (Mosman Park) to win her first Dyenamic WA Women’s State Singles title at the Osborne Park Bowling Club.

Earlier in the day Merz overcame Shaan Saunders (Osborne Park) in her Semi Final. Leading 10-9 over Saunders after 12 ends, Merz ran away with the game in the second half to close out the game 25-11.

In the other Semi Final Andersen produced a similar finish to defeat her opponent Elaine Meehan (Warnbro). At 14-13 it was anybodies game but 11 shots to 2 over the last 7 ends saw Andersen draw away with a 25-15 victory.

The Final started in very warm conditions at the Osborne Park Bowling Club with Merz drawing first blood with two singles on the first two ends. At 3 all after 5 ends, 5 all after 8 ends and 7-6 after 10 ends, it seemed that the very healthy crowd was in for a close game all the way.

However than Merz seemed to find her range a little more than Andersen and she started to draw away. A couple of singles and then a triple saw Merz suddenly double Andersen’s score and hold a 12-6 lead. A single to Andersen saw the three end winning run holted but then another three end run by Merz put her in a commanding 18-7 lead.

A two to Andersen was countered with two singles by Merz who seemed to have all the answers. But for those of us who have seen Kerry Andersen play over the years, we knew that at some point she would fight back and it would be up to Merz to lift again if she wanted the title.

A three, then a single followed by another three to Andersen suddenly saw the lead cut back to 20-16 and the crowded waited for the Merz response. Three singles in a row to take Merz to a 23-16 lead and only two shots from the title seemed to put the Andersen rebellion down.

Not to be denied Andersen again lifted her game and put the challenge to Merz, with two singles and a big four to bring the scoreline to 23-22 and Andersen herself only three shots from what seemed an unlikely victory only 40 minutes earlier.

A single to each player saw Merz one shot from home and Andersen two shots as the big crowd settled in for what would be the last end.  Halfway through the end it seemed that disaster may have struck for Merz and that she would be denied her first title by her own doing. Holding the one shot she needed, Merz came through the head slightly over weight and clipped the jack towards two waiting Andersen bowls giving her the required shots for the title.

With one bowl left for each player and with the shot bowls around two feet away, it was Andersen on the mat to see if she could put even more pressure on Merz. However it was not to be and Andersen was not able to get any closer leaving Merz with two feet to draw the shot for the title. Out of her hand the line of the bowl looked good but did she have the weight correct in such a pressure situation. It took approximately 15 seconds from that point for the crowd to recognize that yes, Laura Merz did have the weight correct and her first WA State Singles Title was hers over a gallant Kerry Andersen.