Bowls: Finalists eye their first singles title

Shannon McIlroy. Photo / Greg Bowker
Shannon McIlroy. Photo / Greg Bowker

The national men's bowls singles will have a first time winner, with Tweed Heads-based Paul Girdler to play Shannon McIlroy in Monday's final.

Both McIlroy and Girdler were up against New Zealand teammates in today's semifinals in Christchurch.

Girdler, playing Ali Forsyth, jumped out to a handy 18-12 lead in the race to 21. But back came Forsyth to score on five consecutive ends for a 19-18 lead. Forsyth held the two winning shots when a Girdler drive dislodged the scoring bowls to give him a three with an umpire's measure to take out the semifinal 21-19.

In the other semifinal, McIlroy of Nelson was up against defending champion Mike Kernaghan of Dunedin. Mcllroy jumped out to an early 9-1 lead and was never headed by Kernaghan, who could not get his normal precise draw game going. McIlroy was the deserved winner 21-14.

The New Zealand selectors would have been delighted to see the four semifinalists are all part of the current Kiwi squad.

The women's singles post-section play got under way today and the last eight have been found after some tight games.

New Zealand international Jo Edwards was up against Australian world champion Kelsey Cottrell in the round of 16 and after the lead changed several times, Cottrell won 21-20.

Defending champion Leigh Griffin of Wellington beat 16-year-old Raglan player Ashleigh Jeffcoat 21-19 but the youngster was not overawed in the tight encounter.

New Zealand representative Val Smith was beaten by Australian rep Chloe Stewart of Victoria 21-12.

The last eight in the women's singles will see Tayla Bruce of Canterbury up against current New Zealand rep Sandra Keith, Sarah Boddington of New South Wales will play Dale Rayner of Wellington, Cottrell will play Griffin and Katelyn Inch of Canterbury will play Stewart.

Post-section play in the men's and women's pairs will be held tomorrow while the last eight of the women's singles do battle to win their way to the big finals day at Burnside on Monday.

- NZ Herald

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