2021 Australian Open – Day eight wrap
The action really heated up during Saturday’s play of the 2021 Australian Open, as men’s and women’s singles knockout rounds commenced.
256 hopeful bowlers took to the greens in the men’s singles competition, with just 32 remaining at the end of the day’s play.
Rinkside Live returned to bring live action via Facebook, with viewers tuning in to see pairs partners Aron Sherriff and Ray Pearse go head to head in the first round of the day.
Sherriff got the better of his mate, going on to win his following two matches over Fred Dowse and Chris Philpot as his hunt for a fourth Australian Open singles title continues.
Dowse was able to cause one of the bigger boilovers of the day before facing Sherriff, taking down BCiB Australian Jackaroo Corey Wedlock 21-19 in a thrilling first round contest.
David Ferguson met Carl Healey also in the morning match, picking up a 21-12 win, the first of three for the day.
Two singles Commonwealth Games gold medallists in Kelvin Kerkow and Rob Parrella were undone in the second round by John Newell and Don Plumber respectively, both succumbing 21-17.
Another Commonwealth Games gold medal singles champion in Aaron Wilson fared better, notching three wins to advance to the round of 32.
The final round of the day produced some quality contests and more upsets.
The experience of Wayne Turley OAM and Brett Wilkie shone through as they defeated young guns Cody Packer (21-18) and Aaron Teys (21-13) respectively.
Ben Twist was unable to overcome the challenge of Cohen Litfin, dropping out with a 21-18 loss, while New Zealand international Chris Le Lievre fell short 21-9 to Dean McWhinney on his home green at Musgrave Hill.
Big games await tomorrow, with Sherriff’s contest against Northern Ireland star Gary Kelly the pick of the men’s round of 32.
Just the one round of women’s contests was played on Saturday, with the star-studded field producing some quality bowls.
Rachel Davies was able knock off Broadbeach club-mate and Emerging Jackaroo Bolivia Millerick, while Chloe Stewart got the better of pairs and fours teammate Jess Srisamruaybai 21-14.
Former Australian Open singles champions in Natasha Van Eldik and Kelsey Cottrell booked passage to the round of 32.
2014 champion Anne Johns and 2015 and 2017 winner Ellen Ryan will meet in the next round.
Another cracking contests awaits in the morning session, with Stewart coming up against Australian Singles Champion of Champions Dawn Hayman.
Sunday will be jam-packed with bowls action across the Gold Coast, with three more knockout rounds of men’s and women’s singles while the multi-disability and vision-impaired competitions get under way.
Bowls fans will be able to view three quality women’s singles contests live on Bowls Australia’s Facebook page from 9am Sunday morning.