Can Edwards be stopped?
Rebecca Van Asch’s Golden Nugget came to an end today with both Jo Edwards and Anne Johns proving too strong on a day which had plenty of wind and some quicker greens for the players to adapt to. Edwards adjusted the quickest in the morning game and lead 13-2 before Van Asch was able to make some in roads into the score-line. An eventual result of 12-25 and a victory by Kelsey Cottrell over Lynsey Clarke by 10, meant that Van Asch’s fate was no longer in her hands; requiring Cottrell to lose her afternoon match as well as defeat Johns. Johns was keen to not finish the tournament without a victory and despite some solid play by Van Asch, won the match 25-19 relegating our Tasmanian hope to third in her section. In a quality field such as this, Van Asch should take heart from her third place finish and use this as a launching bad for an exciting bowls season ahead.
Edwards also went on to win her last round and is the only player, both male and female, to be undefeated. Her 76 shots up margin is 48 better than any other player and just shows how dominating Edwards has been. Her Australian opponents in the finals will be keen to not let her have it all her own way with the World Championships looming in her home country during November and December. Edwards on the other hand will love to have the opportunity to capture her 4th Golden Nugget title.
In the other ladies section, it was heart break for Natasha Scott as her one shot loss to Carla Krizanic in the last round saw her miss out on shots up, this despite defeating Karen Murphy in the mornings round. Krizanic, who would have missed the finals if she lost that last end, when scores were locked at 24-24, now finishes top of the group, the only player with 4 wins. She will take on Kelsey Cottrell in the Semi Finals. Jo Edwards’ opponent will be Ellen Ryan from NSW who was able to defeat Edwards’ compatriot Sandra Keith 25-10 to ensure her second place finish.
In the Men’s draw Scott Thulborn overcame a morning loss against Jeremy Henry to defeat Stephen Halmai and ensure he would finish top of the group with 4 wins and 27 shots up. Henry had a terrific day on the green backing up his defeat of Thulborn with a 10 shot victory over Aron Sherriff. Ryan Bester played the villain in the final round, stopping the run of fan favourite Steve Glasson who had a chance to qualify if he could have gotten over the line, but it wasn’t to be.
Section B of the Men’s draw would have had players and fans with their calculators out trying to determine who was going to qualify, they needed a Channel 7 live ladder on a big screen! 4 players finished on 3 wins, with 3 players separated by only 9 shots. Paul Girdler will be ruing heavy defeats to Kelvin Kerkow in Round 2 and Brett Wilkie in Round 4 meaning he finished with -7 shots up. Brett Wilkie looked out of the running after day 2 but wins against Girdler and Kerkow today saw him only finish 2 shots off 2nd place. The two players to qualify were Aaron Wilson, who lost both games today but had set himself up nicely in the first 3 rounds to hold on to second position and Kelvin Kerkow who defeated Leif Selby in round 4 and ensured a small defeat to Wilkie in round 5 would not see him miss out on the finals.
This was a great turn around for Kerkow after losing convincingly in Round 1; “I got off to a shocker of a start but managed to focus on each remaining game to the point I didn’t even realise that I’d won the section until someone told me” Kerkow said at the conclusion of the round robin games. “During the game (with Wilkie) I knew it was tight as to who was going to qualify and I’m glad to be playing in the Semi Finals tomorrow.” Kerkow will be striving to match Karen Murphy’s record of 5 Golden Nugget victories but will have to win two tough games to do so. “Jeremy (Henry) is a great player, especially at Tweed Heads but I’ll be treating it like any other game.”
The Semi-final match of Kerkow and Henry will be an intriguing match of experienced players looking to add to their resume. Contrasting to that will be the two up and coming players of the sport Scott Thulborn and Aaron Wilson, who have a great future in this sport. It’s some mouth-watering match ups that is sure to enthral the Tweed Heads crowd.
By David Genford