Women’s Fours need some luck; other disciplines on track
Its six games down and three games to go for the first four disciplines of the World Championship. Three of the Four Jackaroo sides currently sit in the top three positions but is our Rebecca Van Asch and the Women’s fours team that sit in fourth and need someone above them to lose, if they are progress to the finals.
Another heart breaking loss to start the day for Van Asch and her team with once again the scores being level before the last end was played. This time it was against South Africa and once again a loss of one meant the smallest of losses for the Australian team. This dropped the team down to 8th with remaining games against Hong Kong and Ireland to finish the day.
It was decided at this time that change needed to be made to the order. Kelsey Cottrell moved from skip to lead and Natasha Scott took over the skips role. “We’re very fortunate to have such a versatile team and it was worth changing things to try and turn it around”, said Van Asch at the conclusion of the days play.
The shakeup of the order payed dividends with Cottrell leading very well and each player finding their new position a comfortable one. A 21-11 win over Hong Kong was followed up by a 26 12 win over Ireland, increasing the team’s shots up advantage to 30 and they climbed up to 4th place in the standings.
The three teams above them, New Zealand (5 wins +40), Wales (4 wins +8) & South Africa (4 wins +5) do not play against each other tomorrow, nor will they play Australia, meaning one of the teams ranked 5th to 10th will need to pull off an upset. The best chance of that happening is when Singapore play South Africa in round 9 or when Ireland play Wales, also in round 9. Australia will need to put the blinkers on and just focus on getting three wins on the board and hope that the pressure gets to South Africa and Wales. Van Asch agrees, “We’re just going out tomorrow to focus on winning our three games and then we’ll see how we finish. We can only worry about the things in our control.”
In the Women’s singles Karen Murphy had a very solid day with victories over Fiji (21-3), Canada (21-19) and Wales (21-9) to find herself 5-1 and sitting second on the ladder behind the home town favourite Jo Edwards. Edwards has a 9 shot advantage going into the second round with Canada’s Kelly McKerihen also on one loss but 16 shots behind Murphy. The match against McKerihen was crucial to Murphy’s success as McKerihen was previously undefeated and put the ball (or should I say bowl) firmly in Murphy’s court. Edwards was able to take the section lead thanks to a 21-1 victory over Guernsey. Murphy will start tomorrow against Guernsey and will need to ensure she is as ruthless as Edwards was to give herself the best chance of finishing on top of the section. An 8th round match against Edwards could be the decider if Murphy can win her Guernsey and Netherlands match ups.
The Men’s Triples should be on top of their section but a 6th round slip up against Namibia, 9-12, saw them drop behind the New Zealand trio who they defeated in Round 2. The first two games will be crucial with both the 3rd place Ireland and the 4th place Jersey as opponents who will be looking to demote the Australians out of the finals race. Mark Casey, who has been playing in the two position reflected on the days play; “We are of course disappointed with the loss today, however the ball is in our court tomorrow. If we win 2 or 3 games, it guarantees us a spot in the finals, which was our goal from the start of the event. All three of us (team mates Barrie Lester & Aaron Sherriff) are in good form, so I’m confident we can get the job done.” Ireland and Jersey will be tough opponents for the Australians but Casey is keen to face them head on, “We know all the games tomorrow are going to be tough, so we need to be up for the challenge. We can’t wait!”
The Men’s Pairs is in for an enthralling finish with the top 5 teams all still with a big chance of making the finals. Australia had their first loss of the event, going down to Singapore 15-16 (the only match Singapore has won after 6 rounds) but wins against Fiji and Hong Kong got them back on track. What makes the remaining matches interesting is how often the top 5 play each other tomorrow;
Round 7 – England (1st) vs Australia (3rd) & Scotland (2nd) vs Hong Kong (4th)
Round 9 – England (1st) vs Scotland (2nd) & Australia (3rd) vs Canada (5th)
The final match against Canada will feature Ryan Bester, a player the Australians know very well, in what should be a cracker of a game. How this section will pan out is anyone’s guess, let’s hope Australia finishes in the top 3 and in with a shot at the medals.
Reminder to follow the Burnside Bowls Club website for live scores and results
and the Bowls Australia website who will have articles at the conclusion of each round
Best of luck to our Jackaroos!
By David Genford