2023 Australian Open – Day 13 recap

by Bowls Australia on June 22, 2023

After nearly two weeks, the first finals of the biggest Australian Open to date took place on Thursday.

It was a day full of thrilling finals, with plenty of matches going down to the wire.

Women’s singles final

It was a coming of age performance that saw Cassandra Millerick take her first Australian Open crown in a final to remember.

Meeting reigning champion and a red-hot Kelsey Cottrell in the decider, Millerick had alarm bells ringing early, dropping the first seven shots as Cottrell flew out of the blocks.

Playing in front of her former home crowd at Broadbeach, the now Moama local edged her way back into the contest with precision drawing.

The duo went shot for shot, with scores locked away after nearly every second end, before Millerick took the ascendancy.

Trailing 14-16, Millerick collected a maximum of four to move ahead 18-16 and break the game wide open.

Cottrell showed her class under pressure, getting within two shots of victory herself, but with Millerick one away from victory, she built a remarkable head of bowls that would give her the win, the biggest of her career to date.

It was clear what the win meant to Millerick, with tears flowing after writing her name into Australian Open folklore.

Final score: Cassandra Millerick def Kelsey Cottrell 21-19

Men’s pairs final

In what can be described as one of the most pulsating Australian Open men’s pairs finals in history, Right at Home Jackaroos Ben Twist and Aaron Wilson became the first male duo to go back-to-back at the tournament following a 17-16 victory over Aaron Teys and Aron Sherriff in the first live television broadcast final of the event.

Having led through the entirety of the contest thanks to surgical precision to navigate through heads, the pair were left shocked after their opponents gained a crucial two-shot lead with just an end to play.

Teys held sway at the final changeover but Wilson managed to conjure some magic to gain the ascendancy ahead of Sherriff’s concluding bowl.

The Queenslander was unable to disrupt the head, leaving the man affectionately known as Disco room to draw a third and secure the title, and he willingly obliged.

Celebrations ensued as the pair embraced tightly in the middle of the green, securing their own piece of tournament history in what was both of their fourth AO titles.

Final score: Ben Twist & Aaron Wilson def Aaron Teys & Aron Sherriff 17-16

Women’s fours final

The women’s fours saw Olivia CartwrightLaura Butler, Chloe Stewart and Katelyn Inch secure a 15-9 victory over Brianna Smith, Ellen Falkner, Kristina Krstic and Ellen Ryan.

It was a maiden salutation for Cartwright, Butler and Inch, while it was a third for Stewart who performed brilliantly in the third position as the quartet donned in yellow raced out to a 7-2 lead.

In the seventh end, Ryan converted a five to level proceedings before Inch and company proved to be the foils to the party, winning the next five ends to set up an unassailable lead.

The blue foursome would peg back the next two ends and needed a four on the last to tie the match, but it was to no avail as Ryan missed with her final bowl to concede defeat.

Final score: Olivia Cartwright, Laura Butler, Chloe Stewart & Katelyn Inch def Brianna Smith, Ellen Falkner, Kristina Krstic & Ellen Ryan 15-9

Multi-disability singles finals

The multi disability women’s singles saw Chery Lindfield secure a comeback for the ages against great friend and international teammate Serena Bonnell.

Bonnell raced out to an 11-2 buffer after ten ends, having just conceded one score across that time.

However, Lindfield roared back into action and slowly pegged the lead back thanks to some expert drawing and weight.

After a mammoth 24 ends the score was tied at 17-17, with the Mt Gravatt member finally pulling ahead for the first time after securing a double in the 25th.

As time ticked on, the pair edged right to the three hour limit only to see Lindfield secure the elusive 21 in the final end to clinch her maiden Australian Open crown, going one better than last year’s runner up placing.

Singleton RSL’s Andrew Turner survived a gallant comeback from New Zealander Chen Naude to take out the men’s multi-disability crown.

Turner jumped out of the blocks, scoring the first eight shots of the match and lead 13-2 before Chen mounted a spirited fightback.

He managed to cut the deficit back to four before Turner put the foot back down on his way to a maiden Australian Open title.

Final score (women’s): Cheryl Lindfield def Serena Bonnell 21-17

Final score (men’s): Andrew Turner def Chen Naude 21-13

Multi-disability pairs final

Ken Hanson and Lucas Protopapas teamed up once more to take out their second Australian Open multi-disability pairs crown.

The Victorian duo repeated their efforts from 2019, performing impressively in their final against Aaron Kelly and Brad Gilbert.

The contest was hard-fought early, but the Victorians stole the momentum through the middle stages to take the win and the title.

Final score (men’s): Lucas Protopapas & Ken Hanson def Aaron Kelly & Brad Gilbert 15-4

Vision-impaired pairs final

2022 Commonwealth Games pairing Helen Boardman and Jake Fehlberg used all of their top-flight experience to take out a thrilling vision-impaired pairs title on Thursday.

Facing off against Martin Bock and Scott Kinnear, the Comm Games duo jumped out of the blocks, leading 10-0 before Bock and Kinnear stormed back into action.

The Fehlberg skipped side led 15-14 on the final end, taking shot to hold on for a memorable two-shot win.

Final score: Helen Boardman & Jake Fehlberg def Martin Bock & Scott Kinnear 16-14

Vision-impaired singles final

Fehlberg and Kinnear met for the second time in the day shortly after their pairs final in the vision-impaired singles final, with a different tale unfolding.

This time it was Kinnear who started the better, leading 13-4 at one point. Fehlberg leaned on his experience to fightback, getting within two shots towards the end of the game, but falling short as Kinnear claimed his first Australian Open crown.

Final score: Scott Kinnear def Jake Fehlberg 21-16

Men’s singles

Aron Sherriff mounted a comeback for the ages in his singles semi final win over Glen Pitts, booking a spot in his second consecutive singles final.

Pitts has had an extraordinary run through the singles knockout phase, and did not look out of place taking on Sherriff.

He got as close as he could to beating Sherriff, leading 20-12 before the reigning champion came storming home.

The Broadbeach local would go on to secure the next nine shots of the game, including a full set on the final end to book a spot in the final.

After a monumental quarter final win over Aaron Wilson on Wednesday, Jacob Nelson continued his strong form to edge out an in-form Matt Miles and book a spot in his maiden Australian Open singles final.

In a back and forth tussle, Nelson edged ahead to win 21-15 and book a spot to take on one of the most in-form players in the world in the final.

Men’s fours

Aron Sherriff will feature in his third final of the Australian Open, after skipping his fours side to victory on Thursday night.

He will face off against a Nick Cahill-skipped team early on Friday morning.

Over 60s pairs

Over 60s men’s and women’s finalists are now locked in ahead of Friday’s finals.

South Australia’s Debra and Karin Lynch took down 2021 champions Maree Gibbs and Sue Brady by one shot in the semi final, to set up a final with Carol White and Christine Myers.

2021 men’s champions Max Jaffray and Neville Jenkins are still in the hunt for a second title, set to face Gregory Brims and Eric Ryan in the men’s final.

Under 18s singles

Under 18 singles finalists were locked in after all knockout rounds took place on Thursday.

Riley Gerick will meet Samuel Collier in the boys final, while Reese Finn-Young and Amity Bickley will battle it out in the girls final.

Both matches will be available to watch via the Bowls Australia Facebook page.


The biggest Australian Open to date will come to a close on Friday, with the following matches played and available to watch live on:

7Two, Kayo, Fox Sports & Sky Sport NZ

  • Women’s Pairs Final – 11:30am
  • Men’s Singles Final – 2pm

Bowls Australia Facebook Page

  • Men’s Fours Final – 8am
  • Over 60 Women’s Pairs Final – 11am
  • Under 18 Girls’ Singles Final – 11am
  • Under 18 Boy’s Singles Final – 2pm

Happy Bowler stream

  • Over 60 Men’s Pairs Final – 11am