Women’s World Cup Semi Final Result
A game of two halves and a cut throat tie break sums up the World Cup Semi Final between Tasmania’s Rebecca Van Asch & New Zealand’s Jo Edwards. The winner would go on to play the defending champion in Lucy Beere from Guernsey.
Van Asch got off to a strong start against Edwards picking up two on the first end and immediately going ditch to ditch. Van Asch used her fourth bowl well over the next few ends, either drawing or converting when required. Even when Van Asch lost and end, she played well getting a toucher and a solid conversion shot that just ran towards Edwards bowl. The score was now 5-1 and surprisingly Edwards kept the ends long. Van Asch maintained her rhythm and Edwards could not convert when required. Van Asch would only need 7 of the 9 ends to take the first set 11-1 and would go into the second set full of confidence but wary of what can happen in a sets play match.
Edwards knew she needed to get off to a good start in the second set and she did, winning the first two ends and taking a 3-0 lead. The next end saw Van Asch without luck, with a measure for one, Van Asch had a chance to convert the head, trail the jack or even kill the end to take the shot, but the jack would move forwards, giving Edwards two shots, the only scenario that could have gone bad for Van Asch. Edwards was now the player who had the feel for the long ends and Van Asch had seemingly lost the speed of the green. Having said that, she was only just off, 4 bowls within a metre but still dropping two shots to now be 8-0 down. How quickly a sets play game can turn! There would be no miracle come back but Van Asch would get on the scoreboard losing the set 12-1.
The match would be decided over 3 ends. Could Van Asch overcome the poor second set or would Edwards maintain her momentum and take the match. In the first end of the tie break, both players were heavy with their first two bowls before Van Asch put her 3rd bowl in the ditch. Edwards drew another to be holding two and the pressure was now on Van Asch’s last bowl. She attempted to draw the shot but was once again heavy, leaving Edwards room to draw for a 3rd shot, which she did. It was now or never for Van Asch. Van Asch could not get her weight right with her first three bowls and was down 2 with one bowl to come. She played a drive which made contact with one of the shot bowls, went on to the next but the original bowl stayed in the head, if it would have been removed, Van Asch would have had two, but now she was trailing 4-0 against arguable the World’s best female bowler. With no dead ends, this was going to be a difficult task and Edwards made it impossible for Van Asch with more consistent bowls. Van Asch would pick up 1 but that was merely a consolation, the game was Edwards’ and she would now have the chance to win the final.
Commiserations to Van Asch but to be playing at this level, 12 weeks after having her beautiful child Alexis and only 6 weeks since returning to the green, is something she should be proud of. I think it bodes well for the Asia Pacific Championships in June. Another 3 months of practice, throw in a Sides Championships and Van Asch will be back at the pointy end of these competitions once more.
Thank you to Bowls Australia for live streaming today’s semi-final, you can still watch the game through Facebook, it was great to be able to watch the game, it’s just a shame it didn’t fall our way this time around!
By David Genford