2023 Australian Open – Day 12 wrap

by Val Febbo on June 21, 2023

An epic day of action saw the women’s singles and pairs finals decided following a plethora of pulsating contests in amidst the sunshine at Club Helensvale.

Defending champion Kelsey Cottrell will face off against Cassandra Millerick for the blue ribbon title as the Queenslander looks to become just the second bowler in the tournament’s history to win back-to-back titles and first to do so in consecutive years.

Cottrell’s semifinal against Laura Butler was hotly contested before the Queenslander secured vital multiples to keep her hopes of a third singles crown alive.

Millerick’s match against Kelly McKerihen was an interesting contest as the Moama exponent raced out to an early lead before her Clayton counterpart got the margin back to three in the middle portion of the contest.

However the Victorian Champion of Champions winner managed to regain the ascendancy and move through to her maiden singles decider at the tournament.

The men’s singles draw has now dwindled to four, with Right at Home Pathways Jackaroo Jacob Nelson sealing an epic 21-16 victory over two-time champion Aaron Wilson.

The Queenslander raced out to a 17-0 lead after just eight ends before the Commonwealth Games gold medallist began to pull the lead back, getting within four and making his counterpart earn every shot.

Nelson will face New South Wales’ Matt Miles after he defeated Kobe Barton 21-16.

Defending champion Aron Sherriff has also booked passage to the semifinal after a comprehensive 21-2 victory over Ryan Tainton.

He will meet Glen Pitts after he overcame two-time Australian Open conqueror and former Jackaroo Ray Pearse 21-15.

In the women’s pairs it was former World Champions Ellen Falkner MBE and Carmen Anderson who overcame 2022 finalists Tris Doolan and Wendy Wilson 21-17 to move through to Friday’s title match.

Falkner will take part in her first final at the Australian Open, while Anderson ends a four-year drought without a final following her runner up finish in the pairs discipline in 2019.

They will face a pair of former event winners in Genevieve Delves and Natasha Van Eldik after a topsy turvy day saw them book their place in the final.

Their opening clash of the morning had the duo up against Emma Spicer and Brianna Smith, who overturned a 2-11 deficit into a 16-11 lead before Delves and Van Eldik regained control to take a thrilling 21-19 win in the quarters.

They then handled Jamie-Lee Worsnop and Dawn Hayman with relative comfort to set up a date with Anderson and Falkner at Broadbeach.

Women’s fours action saw Falkner again reach the pointy end of the competition, as she, Smith, Kristina Krstic and Ellen Ryan moved past Grace Moloney, Sophie Kurzman, Rebekah Lord and Kate Argent Bowden 18-11 to make the semis.

On the other side of the draw it was the quartet of Olivia Cartwright, Laura Butler, Chloe Stewart and Katelyn Inch who booked their place in the final four with a 15-7 salutation against Jessie Cottell, Kira Bourke, Cassandra and Bolivia Millerick in the elite eight stage.

The men’s fours saw Barrie Lester, Corey Wedlock, Aaron Teys and Sherriff reach the semis, as did the Queensland quartet of Clinton Bailey, Brendan Wilson, Scott de Jongh and Nick Cahill after they overcame Wayne Turley OAM, Sean Ingham, Aaron Wilson and Ali Forsyth in an epic quarterfinal.

The first three of seven over-60 men’s pairs knockout rounds got under way on Wednesday, with just 16 duos remaining in the competition.

2021 champions Max Jaffray and Neville Jenkins are among those still in the mix, as are two-time winners Sam Laguzza and Rowan Brassey.

The over-60 women’s pairs is down to the final eight teams after knockout play started. Similar to Jaffray and Jenkins, 2021 women’s champions Maree Gibbs and Sue Brady won through to vie for a second title. 

The future stars of Australian bowls also took to the greens across the Gold Coast, with sectional under-18 play commencing.

Despite dropping out of the women’s pairs in the quarter final, 2022 under-18 girls runner-up Taylor De Greenlaw looked ominous in her hunt to go one better in 2023, topping her section with three wins and +44 shots. She was one of five girls to exit the sectional rounds as a section winner, with three next-best qualifiers.

A field of 12 sections competed in the boys event, with a new winner to be crowned in 2023, as reigning champion Joey Clarke has moved into the open age groups.

Round of 16 play will take place on Thursday.

Lucas Protopapas and Ken Hanson will look to add to their 2019 multi-disability pairs title, winning their way through to the final to meet Aaron Kelly and Brad Gilbert.

The 2023 Australian Open will run from the June 10-23, 2022 on the Gold Coast in Queensland with Rinkside Live coverage from 9am AEST daily on Bowls Australia’s Facebook page.

The Australian Open is supported by Major Events Gold Coast and the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.