World Bowls Champs: Favourites perform

By Bowls NZ

After a sunny but extremely blustery Nor-Westerly day yesterday todays games were played in very much the opposite of conditions with players wrapped up against the cold.

The strong winds certainly added to the number of upsets in play yesterday but today it was back to normal with the favourites all performing as expected.

In the womens singles, section 1 has New Zealands Jo Edwards top followed by her great rival Karen Murphy from Australia and Canadas Kelly McKerihan. McKerihan defeated Edwards on day one. Tomorrow therefore shapes as a huge day with Edwards and Murphy having to play each other along with currently the fourth place getter Saskia Schaft of the Netherlands. Schaft was the runner up in the 2014 Singles Champion of Champions also held in Christchurch so knows she can play well in New Zealand conditions. The fight is truly on to see who will top the section and guarantee themselves at least a bronze medal. To add real interest to the first round game between New Zealands Jo Edwards and the Netherlands

Schaft is the fact that this will be cap number 500 for Edwards. No other female bowler has achieved this milestone for New Zealand before so a win here would not only give her 500 caps but also all but ensure her progress into Fridays knock out games.

In the other section the undefeated Rosita Bradborn from the Philippines leads Lesley Doig of Scotland and Irelands Catherine Beattie.

After two days play and six games there is only one undefeated player. A real indicator that qualifying is still far from certain for anyone but Bradborn.

The womens fours is just as close. After losing their first game yesterday to Singapore New Zealand today went through the day unbeaten. The Val Smith led team now leads their section with Wales second and South Africa third. The surprise being that Australia are currently placed fourth and in real danger of not progressing to the knockout stages. Their game tomorrow against Singapore could be the critical one for them.

In the other section England remain unbeaten to lead from Scotland and the Philippines. On current form the English team look like one of the favourites to play the weekend finals. The New Zealand men also had a 100% winning record on day two. The Ali Forsyth triples team now lead their section with Australia and Ireland close behind. Forsyth, Nagy and Signal while a new combination at this level have played better with every outing and have subsequently gained confidence and now look a real threat.

The other mens triples section is headed by favourites England followed by Scotland and Japan. The mens pairs is shaping up to be a real highlight of the championships. In section one England lead Scotland and Australia while section two is led by Malaysia with New Zealand second and Wales third. All teams have had one lose each so final places will come down to tomorrows results. Week one section play ends tomorrow and at this stage nearly game still counts. Jo Edwards 500th cap will be just one of the highlights as teams battle for the right to play on Friday and then the weekend.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Bowls New Zealand

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