Big guns face off in knockout
Two of the biggest names in bowls are set for an early round showdown at the $225,000 Australian Open The two “lawmen” will do battle in next week’s Australian Open knockout play after world champion Alex Marshall drew experienced Australian representative Aron Sherriff, as Renard Peters reports for the Courier Mail.
Both advanced past sectional play on the weekend with three wins but one will bow out after their shootout at Southport next Monday.
Sherriff won the Open in 2010 while Marshall is widely regarded as the best player in the world.
Young Victorian Dylan Fisher, another Open contender, has a tricky encounter against Hamilton state player Sean Baker.
The $225,000 tournament has drawn out the best from the country’s top bowlers, with most of the expected guns advancing past sectional play.
An international flavour was also prevalent, as Scotsman Marshall, Northern Ireland’s favourite Jeremy Henry, former English trump David Holt and New Zealand’s Shannon McIlroy easily advancing.
The tournament has sprung few surprises early, with former Commonwealth Games champion Kelvin Kerkow one of the few favourites to go down in their section.
A 21-19 loss to NSW youngster Jesse Noronha proved decisive.
In the women’s tournament, gold medallist Jo Edwards sneaked through to post-sectional play despite losing to brilliant Malaysian Sita Zalina Ahmad, a two-time Commonwealth champion.
Ahmad beat Edwards 21-19 to take the high-quality section, with her other wins 21-7 and 21-8.
Defending champion Anne Johns proceeded with two wins and will play another former Open winner, Lynsey Clarke, in knockout play.