2023 World Bowls Championships: Day 11 recap

by Val Febbo on September 9, 2023

The opening day of the second lot of the 2023 World Bowls Championships finals got under way on Saturday at the Broadbeach Bowls Club as the tournament once again offered up some extraordinary matches.

Australia would overcome Scotland in a brilliant men’s fours decider, while Malaysia outlasted Malta in the women’s pairs.

The men’s singles post sectional rounds commenced and it will be Ryan Bester up Gary Kelly against for gold.

Men’s fours – Australia def Scotland 12-10

Corey Wedlock, Aaron Teys, Carl Healey and Aron Sherriff of Australia would clinch an enthralling encounter over Scotland’s Jason Banks, Derek Oliver, Paul Foster and Alex Marshall in the morning session.

It was a red hot start to the contest as Australia netted a brilliant two to kick things off before their northern opponents levelled proceedings thanks to some exquisite shot making from Foster and Marshall.

A pair of mega bowls from Healey on fourth set up a crucial four for the Australians as they raced out to a 6-2 buffer, with Scotland fighting grimly to get back on level terms after the seventh end.

Another scintillating end from the green and gold quartet saw them clinch another multiple to keep their noses in front, with Scotland able to reply with a single thanks to some awesome Marshall touch.

Holding a one-shot advantage into end 12, Sherriff converted some brilliant bowling from Healey to give the Jackaroos a three-shot buffer with a trio of ends to play.

Stanza 13 went shot-for-shot between Teys and Oliver before Healey gave the home country some serious momentum with only the skips to come.

Enter Marshall, who trailed the jack with a remarkable trail to set up a grandstand finish with the margin at two with just a pair of ends left in the match.

The penultimate exchange would see Wedlock and Teys set up the head for Australia, before a fortuitous result for Foster put Scotland in favour.

In an attempt to seal the end, Marshall almost trailed the jack into danger but remained one up after an umpire measure to close the gap to a solitary shot heading into the final end.

Scotland built up a tantalising head before Healey heaped the pressure on Marshall to draw the shot with his final two.

In his last delivery, the Scot came excruciatingly close to making Sherriff play his last, but a Teys finger measure was enough to ensure the Jackaroos result and net a fourth gold for Australia at the tournament.

The contest was one of epic proportions, with the key for Australia being to keep bowls in the head and clinching multiples when needed as Scotland won three more ends throughout the 15.

Wedlock, Healey and Sherriff become the first Australian men to net two gold medals at the same tournament, while the latter goes clear as the most successful male Jackaroo in World Bowls Championships history with his third title.

Teys nets the first major international gold of his career.

Gold: Corey Wedlock, Aaron Teys, Carl Healey & Aron Sherriff (Australia)

Silver: Jason Banks, Derek Oliver, Paul Foster MBE & Alex Marshall MBE(Scotland)

Bronze: Stuart Bennett, Adam McKeown, Ian McClure & Martin McHugh (Ireland)

Bronze: Tony Grantham, Chris Le Lievre, Lance Pascoe & Sheldon Bagrie-Howley (New Zealand)

Women’s pairs – Malaysia def. Malta 15-11

After 15 long years, Malaysia would finally enjoy the top step of the podium and a gold medal as Aleena Nawawi and Ain Nahbila Tarmizi ran away from Malta’s Rebecca and Connie Rixon with a victory.

The opening two ends were tight but the Rixon sisters managed to run out to a 3-0 buffer before Tarmizi converted Malaysia’s opening score of the match to get within one.

Tight ends ensued but Malta were able to win three of the next four to edge out to a 6-4 buffer before Nawawi and Tarmizi reeled off the next three to hold an 8-6 advantage after 10 ends.

The Malaysians again looked in control before a fortunate result for Connie Rixon got the Maltese sisters back on the board as they went on to clinch a single in the next to level proceedings.

Tarmizi played a sensational conversion on end 13 to give the Malaysians another multiple and a two-shot buffer, before a humungous three in the very next exchange set up their hopes of the country’s first gold since 2008.

Malta would secure a single to keep within touching distance but the Malaysians would get an instant reply to set the deficit at five with two to play.

Tarmizi managed to absolutely nail the jack with her last to ensure their opponents would require a full count to send it to an extra end.

Nawawi put the jack in the perfect spot and her opener was an inspired one as Malaysia looked to cover all bases.

However, the Maltese skip managed to give her nation a chance of securing the six needed before Tarmizi bowled a brilliant weighted shot to knock one of her opponents’ bowls out of bounds to secure the pair’s maiden World Bowls Championships gold.

Gold: Aleena Nawawi & Ain Nahbila Tarmizi (Malaysia)

Silver: Rebecca Rixon & Connie Rixon (Malta)

Bronze: Sophie Tolchard & Amy Pharoah (England)

Bronze: Emma McIntyre & Claire Anderson (Scotland)

Men’s singles:

2022 Commonwealth Games runner up Gary Kelly will face Canada’s 2012 and 2016 men’s singles runner up Ryan Bester in the decider as they look for their maiden title in the discipline.

Bester, the pairs champion in 2004 and three-time singles medallist at the tournament, enjoyed a brilliant 21-14 over 2022 World Champion of Champions finalist Izzat Dzulkeple before backing up with a superb performance against Scotland’s Iain McLean where he would take a 21-14 victory.

Kelly, fresh off a pairs gold last weekend, took no time to overcome Hong Kong China’s Tony Cheung 21-8 to set up a rematch against his Birmingham conqueror in Aaron Wilson.

After a tight start that saw the scores at 4-3 early, Kelly exhibited a sensational display of bowls to storm home and record a statement making 21-6 victory.

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

View the day 11 results HERE

Day 12 of play commences from 9am AEST across the Gold Coast on Sunday.

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