Edwards & Henry reign supreme
Jo Edwards and Jeremy Henry were simply unstoppable in the quest for their respective titles on a day when all finalists demonstrated a high quality of bowls and sportsmanship in front of a strong crowd.
Edwards maintained her record as the only undefeated player of the tournament with a come from behind win against Ellen Ryan (25-23) in the morning and then followed that performance with a dominant display and a 25-16 victory over Jackaroo Kelsey Cottrell. Cottrell and previously defeated Section winner Carla Krizanic 25-9 and was full of confidence heading into the final. But Edwards was not to be denied and stormed towards her fourth Golden Nugget only one behind record holder Karen Murphy. Edwards had put herself on the Australian map last year, becoming the first female to be part of an APL (Australian Premier League) winning side, but she is also a Commonwealth Game gold medallist and a two time World Champion. The Australian contingent who played against her this week will be keen to stop her from winning a third world title but with home crowd support, this will be a tough task for our girls. The next few months will prove crucial in the lead up to these titles.
Henry made it five wins in a row to finish the tournament with wins over Kelvin Kerkow (25-20) and Aaron Wilson by 6 shots in the final. Both Wilson & Henry had finished second in their section but were able to turn up the heat in the semi-finals with Wilson defeating Scott Thulborn 25-18. Henry is also a two times Outdoors World Champion but the Australian team will be breathing a sigh of relief that he won’t be lining up this year. Henry has been a dominant force at Tweed Heads both indoors and out but this is the first time he has won this prestigious tournament. It has been a great tournament for Henry, his only defeat coming at the hands of Steve Glasson and only by 3 shots.
The spoils go to the winners with both Edwards & Henry deserved champions. For Tasmania’s Rebecca Van Asch, this was a small stepping stone on the path of her World Cup preparations. We will endeavour to follow her progress and hopefully see a return to the winner’s podium in December.
By David Genford