Murphy on top after tense finish
IN a fitting finale to what has been a Black Douglas tournament of the highest quality, Cabramatta champion Karen Murphy showed plenty of composure to claim the 2009 title over Kelsey Cottrell at the South Tweed Sports yesterday.
In a final which lasted just over two hours, both players showed tremendous skill and resolve under sunny skies and a swirling breeze.
The final was played out in front of a good crowd, many of whom were hoping for South Tweed win.
As in her earlier semi-final, host club star, Cottrell, showed plenty of focus and accuracy in the first hour.
But to Murphy's credit, she didn't buckle and fought her way back to take control over the final ends to win by 10 shots.
Murphy finished with a perfect eight from eight for the tournament and pocketed $2500 for her efforts.
It was a war of attrition with single and two shots being the order of the day in the first 15 ends.
Cottrell took the lead on eight ends 7-5 and held her biggest lead after 15 ends, 13-8.
Within three ends, Murphy went three, three and one to lead 15-13 before Cottrell evened the match with two shots at the 19th.
It was Murphy's turn to collect two but the turning point was the 21st end when Murphy drew brilliantly to collect four and lead 21-15.
With momentum against her and after holding one only to see a weighted Murphy shot change this to be holding two, Cottrell killed the end relieving the pressure.
It was similar at the next where Murphy held two until a Cottrell weighted shot gave her one.
Murphy countered by drawing the shot only to see Cottrell kill the end trying to move Murphy's shot bowl. At this stage, the wind had dropped and Murphy was drawing brilliantly on the wider hand.
Murphy maintained the pressure and took another single shot to lead 22-15 on 22 ends.
At the 23rd, Murphy was holding one with a measure for two, with both women with one bowl to play.
Cottrell played a weighted shot, but her bowl was fractionally off and the kitty slewed forward and to the right to give Murphy three shots and game 25-15.