World Cup Quarter Final Result
Tasmania’s Rebecca Van Asch played off for a spot in the Semi Finals of the World Cup today at the Warilla Bowls Club. Her opponent was South African Colleen Pilketh. Pilketh had finished 7-2 after her sectional play, losing to both Hong Kong & New Zealand, the NZ representative is Jo Edwards, widely considered the best female bowler in the world. Van Asch had not played against Pilketh in a singles match previously so let’s see how she fared.
The World Cup feature two sets of 9 ends and if the match is tied then a 3 set tie breaker is played. Van Asch got off to a strong start winning the first set 8-4 only for Pilketh to win the second set 8-6. This now meant that the cut throat nature of the tie break would be at play, win and advance or lose and the tournament was over. Van Asch would pick up 3 shots on the first end of the tie break, giving her a big advantage. Pilketh held one before her last bowl and moved the jack but not far enough, only picking up one shot. Van Asch now had the last bowl and a one shot advantage heading into the final end. Pilketh drew well with her first bowl but Van Asch managed to draw around her bowl and claim the shot. Pilketh couldn’t draw the shot off and needed to resort to weight to get the two shots required. Van Asch covered the back and Pilketh did manage to get the shot with her last bowl but couldn’t make the two needed to force Van Asch to play her last bowl. A 3-2 win in the tie break was enough for Van Asch to move into the Semi Finals. She will now play against the aforementioned Jo Edwards for a spot in the Final.
After the game Van Asch was kind enough to share some of her thoughts. Heading into the Tie break was Van Asch feeling nervous with three ends deciding the match? “I was really happy with the way I was playing and it was just 1 end really that cost me in the second set, so I was disappointed to lose it. But I was confident in how I was playing. I won the toss and decided to keep the mat and just tried to nail it with my first bowl and put the pressure on. I scored a 3 on the first end of the tiebreak which was a handy start to the 3 end shoot out.” A handy start indeed that gave her the ascendancy. But now it’s on to Jo Edwards an opponent that she has faced many times before, “Jo and I have played on a number of occasions across different disciplines. There’s no doubt that she is the best female bowler in the world. She’s the reining Commonwealth Games Singles Champion and World Champion of Champions title holder, so it’s hard to have a game plan against her because she is certainly an all-rounder. So I’ll just be focusing on what I can control and that’s my own game and trying to play my best.” Despite this being a World Bowls event, Bowls Australia will be live streaming the last two days of the event, including Van Asch’s clash against Edwards. What is it like to play knowing that every shot is being analysed by armchair critics from around the world? “It’s fantastic to have BA live-streaming the finals so everyone at home can tune in and see what’s happening. I’ve had a lot of experience playing in front of the cameras now, so I don’t really pay attention anymore. Once you get in the zone and focus on the job at hand it’s easy to forget that they’re even there.”
The game will be live streamed via Facebook at 3pm via the Bowls Australia Facebook site and I’m sure someone will share it to the Bowls in Tasmania Updated Facebook group. We are allowed to be bias, Go Bec!
By David Genford