Thrilling final caps super series
TWEED Heads bowlers had some surprises at the BCIB PBA Indoor International Challenge Singles last Saturday with the New Zealand Professional Bowls Association representatives shocking their more-fancied opponents with a first round victory.
Neil Fisher was successful over Kelvin Kerkow and Paul Girdler over Karen Murphy ensured the round would go to the crucial last match between Dunedin’s Ken Walker and Queenslander Brett Wilkie in which the southern man prevailed 5-5, 7-5.
Australia fought back, winning the second round four matches to one with only NZ number one Chris Lourie getting across the line, handing Wilkie his second loss. Fisher leads the NZ table to decide who played in Monday’s final with one win and three sets on countback to Walker.
Girdler has the third playoff spot with a win and 1.5 sets ahead of Lourie who has just the one set for his win with Phil Bennett yet to open his account. Three more round challenges were played on Sunday before the three top Aussies and Kiwis battled it out in front of the television cameras on Monday. The Aussie side regrouped for round two and won four rinks to one.
Last Sunday in round three in an even contest, the Australians won again on three rinks to lead two rounds to one with 20-year-old Ben Twist thrilling the capacity crowd with outstanding bowls.
PBA NZ fought back and with two rink wins all, NZ’s Ken Walker won 2-1 against Murphy to even the scores at two rounds all with one round to play. Ben Twist lost to Walker in another tiebreak but Brett Wilkie, Karen Murphy and Kelvin Kerkow all won to win the Challenge qualifying rounds 3-2.
Only the top three from each nation qualified to play in the televised final series on Monday and Steve Glasson, 4 wins + 8 set wins, topped the table.