Bowls: NZ level series after drama-filled day

By Lindsay Knight

Photo / NZPA
Photo / NZPA

New Zealand made a dramatic recovery to win the men's and women's bowls tests to level the transtasman series at Howick yesterday.

The men wrapped up their test win yesterday as early as the second round, when Shannon McIlroy continued his fine form to snatch a 10-all draw in the pairs and the Ali Forsyth-skipped triple staged a strong rally to beat Mark Casey's Australian combination 18-12.

That followed a clean sweep in the opening round when McIlroy won his singles clash with Mark Casey 21-15 and in the fours when in a crucial turning point, Forsyth and his lineup of Dan Delany, Andrew Kelly and Tony Grantham scored a remarkable 22-11 win over Aron Sherrif's four.

After nine ends the Australians were well ahead 10-5, but dropped a four on the 10th and then on the 11th Sherrif took a gamble with his last bowl and lost spectacularly.

One up on the board and one up on the head, Sherrif tried to take advantage of the Commonwealth Games re-spotting rule, which is being used in the series, by killing the head and with the re-spotting take at least a couple more shots.

Instead he took out his own shot and gifted the Black Jacks five shots and a lead of 14-10, which was boosted by eight further shots in three of the final four ends.

The Australians recovered to win all of the final round matches in both tests, though in the case of the men those results were academic.

There was much more tension left in the women's test, as both the Karen Murphy-skipped four and Rebecca Quail and Kelsey Cottrell in the pairs, with easy wins respectively, threatened to wipe out the 27-points differential New Zealand had amassed after the first two rounds.

Despite their comfortable wins in the final rounds the Australians missed their target by six shots.

- NZ Herald

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