Things just didn’t fall New Zealand’s way when the crunch came at the bowls today.
There were some strange draws and some results that defied belief, and it emphasised that in bowls no victory can be taken for granted.
Defending singles champion Jo Edwards did very well to even make the quarter-finals. She arrived at the greens this morning knowing she had to beat previously undefeated Emma Saroji of Malaysia decisively to give herself a chance of progressing.
To her credit, she played well and won 21-7.
Amazingly, when the quarter-final draw was made, she had to face Saroji again. Perhaps buoyed by her earlier success, she hit her best form and demolished Saroji 21-9, having whizzed to a 10-1 lead after six ends.
In section play the women’s four of Tayla Bruce, Val Smith, Katelyn Inch and Mandy Boyd were going swimmingly until they faced South Africa today. At one point the New Zealanders trailed 12-3 and though they did their best to turn things around, they went down 16-11.
Nevertheless, the women’s four still progressed to the quarter-final. Who should they be drawn to meet but South Africa again! Unfortunately, the result was the same – this time the New Zealanders went down 13-8.
Inch said afterwards that the New Zealanders had made a bad start to the quarter-final and had been forced to play catch-up. “When you’re chasing the game, it’s really hard,” she said. “But all credit to the South Africans. They beat us twice today, so they certainly deserved to be in the semi-finals. They outbowled us.”
The men’s pair of Blake Signal and Shannon McIlroy had to work hard to win their final pool match, against England. Though Blake Signal and Shannon McIlroy never trailed, they did squander an 8-3 lead and found themselves level at 11-11 before pulling away to win 14-12 and maintain their unbeaten record.
The New Zealanders were then drawn to play Wales in the quarter-finals and had a horror match, losing 20-7.
The men’s triple of Mike Nagy, Paul Girdler and Ali Forsyth, wrapped up their section in fine style, going through unbeaten. Surprisingly they came unstruck in dramatic fashion against Australia in the quarter-final, going down 25-10.
The New Zealand mixed B2/B3 pair of David Stallard, Peter Blick, Sue Curran and Ann Muir went down 14-11 to Australia, having trailed 10-0 at one point. This event is extremely tight - after two rounds every team has had a win and a loss.
In the para Open B6/B7/B8 men’s triples, Bruce Wakefield, Barry Wynks and Mark Noble, having had a win and a loss in the competition, took on Scotland and were solid 17-9 winners.
Glasgow 2014 Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Jo Edwards Tayla Bruce Val Smith Katelyn Inch Mandy Boyd Blake Signal Shannon McIlroy Mike Nagy Paul Girdler Ali Forsyth David Stallard Peter Blick Sue Curran Ann Muir Bruce Wakefield Barry Wynks Mark Noble Lawn Bowls