2023 World Bowls Championships: Day 6 recap

by Lachlan Williams on September 3, 2023

Week one of the 2023 World Bowls Championships came to a thrilling end at Club Helensvale on Sunday, with two high-quality finals.

Australia claimed a memorable para men’s pairs crown over South Africa by a solitary shot, securing the overall Para team title.

New Zealand’s Tayla Bruce added a World Bowls Championships gold to her World Champion of Champions title after a seesawing win over Canada’s Kelly McKerihen.

Women’s SinglesTayla Bruce (New Zealand) def Kelly McKerihen (Canada) 21-18

Tayla Bruce became the third New Zealand woman after Elsie Wilkie (1973 & ’77) and Val Smith (’08) to take out the World Championships women’s singles gold.

Facing Canada’s Kelly McKerihen, both players took time to settle onto the lightning fast green at Helensvale, making for tough going early on.

It took eight ends for either of the finalists to score a multiple, as McKerihen led 5-4 after eight ends.

As would follow throughout the contest, neither player managed to take a stranglehold on the final.

McKerihen made the first mini break, picking up a three to go 10-6 ahead, but Bruce didn’t sit back for long, moving within one shot at 11-10.

The momentum began to swing to the Blackjack, but McKerihen managed to keep touch, eventually moving to within one end of victory to lead 18-16 after collecting a triple.

At a point in the game where it could have been easy to panic, Bruce held her nerve and replied straight back with a three of her own to lead 19-18.

The New Zealander started what would be the final end in impressive fashion, holding game with her first two bowls.

They would prove to be decisive as McKerihen tried and missed at ripping them out of the head, seeing Bruce take out the title.

The win is New Zealand’s second of the championships after the first week of play, having claimed para women’s pairs gold on Saturday.

Gold: Tayla Bruce (New Zealand)

Silver: Kelly McKerihen (Canada)

Bronze: Ellen Ryan (Australia)

Bronze: Katherine Rednall (England)

Para Men’s PairsAustralia def South Africa 10-9

In a final for the ages, Australia’s Damien Delgado and James Reynolds pipped gallant South African duo Deon van de Vyver and Gareth Rees-Gibbs to claim the para men’s pairs world championship.

Just one shot separated the two sides in a final that saw the lead yo-yo throughout the contest.

Multiple scores were hard to come by, with just 19 shots scored from 15 ends of play.

Leading narrowly for much of the contest, a rare two to South Africa on the penultimate end of the contest gave them a one shot lead with one end to play.

Delgado managed to hold shot as the leads and skips changed ends, giving his skip a chance to force an extra end or win the contest on the 15th and final end.

Reynolds saved his best till last, drawing a second shot within inches of the jack, which would go on to be the world championship winning bowl.

The victory was Australia’s second para title at the 2023 World Bowls Championships, securing them the inaugural overall Para Team trophy.

Gold: Damien Delgado & James Reynolds (Australia)

Silver: Deon van de Vyver & Gareth Rees-Gibbs (South Africa)

Bronze: Mawjit Singh So Gurmet Singh & Khirmern Bin Mohamad (Singapore)

Bronze: Puk Chi Yeung & Wong Kin Kwong (Hong Kong China)

Sunday’s finals marks the end of the first week of 2023 World Bowls Championships play.

The second week of play will commence on Tuesday, September 5 across the five Gold Coast host clubs.

View the day six results HERE

Day seven of play commences from 8.30am AEST across the Gold Coast on Tuesday.

The 2023 World Bowls Championships is proudly supported by Tourism and Events Queensland and Major Events Gold Coast.