Wilkie in line to be recrowned
Australian Jackaroos vice-captain has booked a final berth and is one win away from being recrowned national indoor champion Club Helensvale’s Brett Wilkie has secured safe passage to another Australian Indoor Championships ultimate decider after narrowly overcoming fellow Gold Coaster Steve Halmai in this afternoon’s semi-final.
Wilkie, who claimed the crown in 2010, went one step further than his 2012 effort, where he fell short in the semi to eventual champion and club teammate Mark Casey, but it wasn’t without a challenge.
With little separating either player in a match worthy of being the final, Halmai, a former Indoor and Outdoor English representative, mitigated Wilkie’s relentless attack in the first set, allowing the current Australian Jackaroos vice-captain just 4 shots over 7 ends before succumbing 2 shots on the penultimate end to split the set 6-all.
It appeared as though another tied set would eventuate in the second set, with scores only just in Wilkie’s favour, 6-5 after 6 ends, before a masterstroke 2 shots widened the margin.
Another 1 shot to the Halmai, who lost the final of the event back in 2003 to Steve Glasson, had the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats going into the final end.
With 2 shots in the bank, all the was required from Wilkie was to have the second closest bowl, but the renowned indoor ace went one better and sat within millimetres of the jack to finish three shots clear, 9-6.
“Steve played a great game and it was looking like it might be two tied sets at one stage, but I was lucky enough to just get that break towards the end and hang on to it,” Wilkie said.
“I played a risky shot at one stage and it went bad for me, I thought I’d blown it, but it made me knuckle down and really work hard to get back in the game.
“This is one of the major events on the Bowls Australia calendar and the one everyone wants to win.
“To win it once was a privilege but to win it twice would be something really special.”
Wilkie will now meet the winner of tomorrow morning’s second semi-final between reigning National Champion of Champion David Holt and Wilkie’s APL Perth Suns teammate Clive Adams.