Odgers and Henry score at Indoor
Queensland’s Lynsey Clarke (Helensvale) and Paul Girdler (Tweed Heads) narrowly missed their chances to add their names to the history books, as the Australian Indoor played at Tweed for the 28th time. (The men’s comp has been going since 1988, the women’s comp for 13 years, since 2003). This is how Bowls Australia’s Kelsey Cottrell called the finals of the Australian Indoor 2015.
ODGERS OUR NEW INDOOR CHAMPION
Carla Odgers has won a tight encounter with Lynsey Clarke in a thrilling Australian Indoor Championships final
For the first time in eight years, the Australian Indoor Championships women’s trophy will not be heading back to NSW; Carla Odgers will be taking it home to Victoria after her victory against Australian team mate Lynsey Clarke in a spectacular final here at Tweed Heads.
Odgers got off to a flying start in her first ever Australian Indoor Championships final leading 6-1 in the early stages before Clarke struck back with a full count of four on the sixth end to take the lead 7-6.
Odgers managed to recoup and despite dropping a four two ends prior, Odgers found her groove heading back toward the commentary box and scored a three to regain the lead; Odgers hung on to the shot on the final end and took the one set advantage.
Clarke come out firing in the second set and despite losing two of the last three ends Clarke defending her lead and took the match into a tie-break.
As Odgers had done in an earlier round match she jumped out of the blocks with a full count of four and now had one hand on the trophy.
Clarke was just millimetres away from striking back on the second end, needing a slight movement of the jack to score at least three shots; however it was just one to Clarke and Odgers was still in a commanding position going into the final end.
Odgers set the last head up perfectly and left Clarke needing to play the most difficult of shots to snatch a draw; however it was just the one to Clarke and a new champion was crowned.
Moments after the match Odgers said that the win hadn’t sunk in yet and hadn’t thought about the opportunity that had presented to represent Australia at the World Cup in April next year.
Odgers thanked her family for making the trip to Tweed Heads to support her for the duration of the tournament and also thanked her VIC NTC Coach Mark Cowan for his continued support.
Odgers will take home the huge $6000 first prize cheque for her efforts this week, whilst runner-up Clarke pockets a cool $3000.
Clarke will now relax ahead of the birth of her first baby and will not be back in action until early next year; however the hunger will still remain to etch her name on the Australian Indoor Championships trophy and back in the green and gold in 2016.
Earlier today, in a battle between two Warilla greats, it was the former Irish international Jeremy Henry that got the better of his young prodigy, Australian Open Singles Champion Aaron Teys in an entertaining semi-final match.
Henry knew the class of his opponent having come up against Teys on many occasions at their home club Warilla, and went about applying all the pressure with quality draw bowling.
Teys continued to try all the shots in order to get himself back into the match but after dropping the first set 4-10 it become very dangerous territory for Teys when the pair went into the last end locked up at 6 apiece.
Henry was all class on the final end and when Teys’ final two bowls sailed narrowly passed Henry’s shot bowls’, Jeremy Henry booked a ticket in yet another Australian Indoor Championships final.
The tantalizing final match of the tournament between Girdler and Henry is set to get under way at 2pm and can be watched free of charge through Bowls Australia’s live streaming.
KING HENRY STRIKES AGAIN
Jeremy Henry has claimed his second Australian Indoor Championship title and will now go on to represent Australia once again at next year’s World Cup
Warilla’s Jeremy Henry joins an illustrious list of multiple Australian Indoor Championship winners after claiming a memorable victory in this year’s men’s singles final against New Zealand representative Paul Girdler.
The final match of the tournament lived up to expectation with both players trading blows in what was a high quality contest between two great champions.
Home town favourite Paul Girdler started the match in phenomenal style, asserting himself on a rink he has become so familiar with; a former Australian Indoor Championship finalist has made Tweed Heads his home and has had plenty of time to perfect the carpet.
It was Girdler who struck the first blow taking the opening set 7-4; however it took a further five ends before Girdler was able to find the score board again with Henry beginning to take control of the second set.
At 8-0 in front the crowd began to sense a tie-break but a surge from Girdler got him back within four; however Henry’s count of three on the eighth end was a killer blow to the kiwi’s chances and we were straight off to the tie-break.
Henry could not have played the opening end any better, drawing all three of his first four bowls within six inches and a final drive by Girdler was unable to reduce the count.
Girdler played a crucial conversion on the second end of the tie-break and once again the crowd were up in arms for their local charge.
With Henry leading 3-2, an extra end was looming but Henry’s third bowl put a stop to that; Girdler was unable to make contact with his henry’s shot bowl and the Northern Irishman had created history.
Henry, the 2011 Australian Indoor Championship winner, went on to represent Australia at the World Cup where he won the first of two World Titles wearing the green and gold.
Henry will now represent Australia, alongside women’s champion Carla Odgers, once more at next year’s World Cup which has been confirmed to stay at Warilla for 2016 and 2017 after being staged there for the past eight out of nine years.
It is there the indoor superstar can continue his dominance and claim a hat-trick of World Cup titles in front of a home crowd.
The 2016 World Cup will be staged at Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club in NSW from March 15 to 23, with free entry and rink-side viewing.