Krstic back to back with last bowl
The Bassendean Bowling Club lived up to its recently crowned Bowls WA Metropolitan Club of the Year status by producing first class facilities, hospitality, greens and of course weather for the 2020 Dyenamic Women’s State Fours final, with the game living up to all expectations by ending in dramatic fashion with an extra end and a last bowl draw for the title.
The team of Lisa Featherby, Laura Merz, Denise Kelly and Linda Warburton (Mosman Park) had advanced to the final the previous week when they had an all the way Semi Final win over the composite team of Shari Solly, Sue Hogg, Anne Crabb and Sharon Lyster 20-12.
The defending Champions of Kristina Krstic, Hailey Packer, Robyn O’Brien and Helen Heal (Manning) meanwhile had a back and forth game until finally breaking away in the last few ends to defeat the composite team of Noelene Abe, Irene Leahy, Elaine McDonald and Shelley Radcliffe 18-11.
With all eight ladies having played in the WA Women’s State team in the recent past and with the excellent greens at the Bassendean Bowling Club, the final was set up to be a classic encounter of lawn bowls.
While the Krstic combination won two of the first three ends, it was the Featherby team that took control early by winning six ends in a row to take a 11-3 lead. While all ladies were playing well, it was the consistency of Denise Kelly in the seconds position that was setting up the heads and the finishing skills of skip Featherby playing the big bowls. Whether it was drawing to the edge of the ditch twice after Krstic put the jack in the ditch or drawing shot when four down, Featherby was especially damaging in the first half of the game.
At the point where the deficit was growing, there was no panic in the Krstic team as they used all their experience to slowly grind their way back. Robyn O’Brien, who always had impeccable line but struggled with the weight early, started to halve Kelly and with more bowls in the head gave her backend players more opportunities. As we have known in the past, opportunities for players like Packer and Krstic can be a dangerous thing for opposition teams.
First a triple and then a double put the Krstic team back in the game at 8-11 and then more scores in two of the next three ends put them only one behind at 11-12. A solid three to Featherby on the fifteenth end of eighteen could have steadied the ship except for the fact Krstic got a four the very next end the bring the scores level. A single to each team in the final two ends saw the game level at 16-16 with an extra end required to separate the teams.
Krstic’s lead, Helen Heal started the last end with what could have been a match winning bowl by putting it on the jack. It stayed in that position until the skips took to the mat and Featherby played a delightful little runner around the short bowls to jam the jack sideways three feet and to leave her team with the shot bowl two feet from the jack.
Krstic’ first bowl pulled up just over two feet short and Featherby’s second bowl had good weight but was narrow, so it came down to the last bowl from Krstic to determine the winner. Could Krstic draw within two feet under extreme pressure to complete the comeback and win back to back Women’s State Fours titles.
Once again Kristina Krstic showed why she is at the top of WA Bowls when her last bowl finished its journey within six inches of the jack to once again claim the title with her winning team of Hailey Packer, Robyn O’Brien and Helen Heal.