Casey secures redemption over McIlroy
Australia’s Men’s fours combination
It took to the third of three men’s singles matches so far for Australia’s Mark Casey to chalk up his first win at the traditional Trans Tasman event in Auckland.
Casey, who secured a gold medal in the Men’s fours at World Championships last December, has endured three epic battles against one of the toughest competitors in world bowls, Shannon McIlroy.
The 31-year-old form St John’s Park in Sydney surrendered the opening two matches against McIlroy 19-21 and 15-21 before narrowly claiming the Kiwi’s scalp 21-19 in their third match ahead of tomorrow’s fourth and final encounter.
The Men’s Open division has been engrossingly even since the tournament started with only one match separating the combatants after 12 contests heading into tomorrow’s deciders.
After a dominant display by the Aussies on day one, the Women’s’ Open competition has tightened up with both the host nation and Australia sharing the test honours on day two with New Zealand taking the points on aggregate to square up the contest at one test all.
In their fourth singles match set down for decision on the final day, Australia’s Kelsey Cottrell and opponent, World Championship silver medallist Val Smith, will set the scene for what promises to be one most intriguing finale at this year’s event.
Australia has already secured the Women’s Development trophy with another lopsided result (New Zealand only secured points in two drawn matches) today while on the Men’s side of the competition, contrasting back-to-back one-sided results that saw New Zealand take the honours on day one and Australia return serve on day two have that match all square at one test apiece.
In the junior ranks, the second trophy to have booked its flight home from Auckland belongs to the Girl’s Under 18 combination thanks to an outstanding overall team performance, led by singles young gun Natasha Jones that has secured two of the three test matches including today’s which ended emphatically in favour of Australia five matches to one.
Despite a 36 shot defeat on the opening day which included a draw and a subsequent draw on day two in the Under 18 Men’s competition augers well for another tight tussle on day three of their contest as the young tyrants attempt to overcome a sluggish start the tournament to claim another test win for Australia and team trophy.
All the action concludes at the Howick Bowling Club in Auckland on Friday from 10.30am (AEDST) with the final 36 matches played three sessions to determine who will be crowned the Trans Tasman champions for 2013.