Murphy rolls on towards Cup win
World singles champion Karen Murphy continued her drive towards a first World Cup title by beating defending champion Alison Merrien in round three at Warilla Bowling Club, as Mike Driscoll reports for the Illawarra Mercury.
The Guernsey star Merrien defeated Murphy in a tie-break semi-final last year, but world No 2 Murphy was too good yesterday, winning 9-8 13-3.
The top three players from each of the two pools in the men’s and women’s tournament advance to Monday’s post-sectional round with a top-placed finish an advantage.
Meanwhile, defending men’s champion Jeremy Henry survived a second thrilling match, with a tie-break win over Scottish international Graeme Archer.
Henry’s opening round match against Norfolk Island’s Ryan Dixon went down to the final bowl and the Northern Ireland native and Australian representative again survived a fightback – this time in the tie-break.
The Warilla bowls co-ordinator edged out Archer 8-7 in the opening set, before Archer, who also plays for Victoria, took the second set 9-6.
Henry led 4-0 after two of the three ends in the tie-breaker.
Facing defeat Archer fired back in the third and final tie-break end and was a chance of picking up all four shots, but was held to just three, giving Henry a tense victory.
Australia’s second men’s representative Mark Casey – the 2005 champion – remains unbeaten with three wins and the bye from his four rounds.
The St Johns Park star began with wins over Zimbabwe and Malta, and yesterday beat Singapore’s Heng Heck 11-3 14-4.
Casey will be expected to beat Japan’s Hisaharu Sato in their round five clash this morning, while Murphy faces the Philippines’ Ainie Knight first up today and Henry takes on the win-less Susul Ramanayake from Sri Lanka at 12.30pm.