Bowls: Kiwis returning with swag

Val Smith surrendered her world championship to Australia's Karen Murphy. File photo / Simon Baker
Val Smith surrendered her world championship to Australia's Karen Murphy. File photo / Simon Baker

It may not have been the colour they wanted, but New Zealand will return from the World Bowls Championships with a swag of medals.

Gutsy performances were on show across the two weeks of competition in Adelaide, but the Black Jacks were narrowly out-played in all of their gold medal games.

Val Smith's final against Australian Karen Murphy was a game of single shots as the two women kept each other in check throughout. It came down to the wire as Smith fought back to close the gap but, in the end, the reigning world champion surrendered her title to Murphy 21-17.

Smith's lack of luck continued in the women's pairs as she and teammate Jo Edwards claimed the silver medal. The gold came down to a single shot, which could have given the Kiwis the four they needed to force an extra end, but it went just past its mark to leave the Australians to take the victory 16-12.

The triples team of Mandy Boyd, Lisa White and Jan Khan made a fierce combination as they also made the gold medal playoff. The game was close locked at 7-7 after the first half, but the Australian contingent pulled away in the second part of the game on the Lockleys Greens to secure a 21-9 win.

The men's triples of Ali Forsyth, Matt Gallop and Tony Grantham lost out in a nail-bitting game against the Australian contingent in the semifinals, leaving them with a bronze medal.

The final New Zealand medal came in the men's singles semifinal between Shannon McIlroy and Australia's Leif Selby - a game fit for a world final. Selby took an early lead but McIlroy came back fighting on Selby's crucial tighten the game before the Australian triumphed 21-19.

- APNZ

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