IT was a fight to the finish, but New Zealand ultimately won out.
The New Zealand Mat Blacks Indoor Bowls Team fought off a very strong challenge by Australia in front of a large home crowd, to take out the Henselite Trophy by just one game, 34-32 at the 23rd Indoor Bowls Trans-Tasman International Test Match on Saturday.
Hosted by the Southland Indoors Bowls Centre in Invercargill, the biennial Trans-Tasman three-day test match between New Zealand and Australia attracted hundreds of supporters and spectators.
“The International played over three days was an outstanding success with both teams giving their utmost for their countries,” tournament convener Graham Low said.
“Australia made the best start but New Zealand fought back to finally clinch the victory in the final session.”
At the end of the first day the scores were 11-11.
The second day saw Australia go ahead to lead 24-20 which meant the Mat Blacks had a job to do on the final day.
In the morning session New Zealand, led by an outstanding display of singles bowls by kiwi Teri Anderson, levelled the scores to 27 -27 and in the final session won three games to Australia’s two with one draw to finish 34-32 ahead.
Low said the final session was extremely tense and the two close games which swung the result in New Zealand’s favour was the men’s triples of Simon Thomas (skip), Daniel French, Michael Lawson, who snatched victory from Darren Voss (skip), Shane Cashill and Haydn Weir 19-18, and the mixed pairs (8-bowl) of Paul Smith (skip) and Fiona Keegan, NZ, who fought out an incredible 13-all draw against Errol Weir (skip) and Lynda Charles, Australia to tip the scales in New Zealand’s favour.
Eleven Australasian medals were on the line and New Zealand won seven; women’s singles, men’s fours, women’s fours, men’s pairs, mixed pairs (8-bowl), men’s triples and women’s triples. Australia won four, the men’s singles, mixed fours, women’s pairs and mixed pairs (6-bowl).