The sixth and final day of play at the 2023 World Bowls Indoor Championships at Warilla Bowls & Recreation Club saw the remaining competitors bring their best out on the green in a bid to take home a World title. And bring it they certainly did!
In the Mixed Pairs finale, Scotland’s Julie Forrest and Michael Stepney did their utmost to keep the Aussies at bay, but the Australian duo of Kelsey Cottrell and Aron Sherriff, as they had been throughout the competition, were just unbeatable. The pair won both sets, albeit by a single shot each, 5-4, 6-5, leading to the first gold for Australia. Scotland (Forrest/Stepney) took home Silver while it was Bronze for England (Hembrow/Puckett) and Guernsey (Merrien/Merrien).
Mixed Pairs Finalists
L-R: Stepney/Forrest (Scotland), Cottrell/Sherriff (Australia), Merrien/Merrien (Guernsey) & Hembrow/Puckket (England).
From there, spectators were treated to another brilliant battle in the Women’s Singles finals, as Julie Forrest took to centre stage to again try for a World title, this time against New Zealand’s Katelyn Inch. In a nail-biting first set, it was 2-a-piece after four ends, until Inch stole a three on the next. But that’s where her run ended, and Forrest came home strong on the final three to win the first set 6-5. Inch came back firing in the second set to win 8-2 taking the match to a tie-breaker. It was Forrest who was victorious, taking home the gold, and her eleventh world championship, with a one-shot win. New Zealand (K. Inch) took home Silver, and Malaysia (N. Alyani Jamil) & Wales (A. Williams) the Bronze.
Women's Singles Finalists
L-R: Katelyn Inch (NZ), Julie Forrest (Scotland), Amy Williams (Wales), Nurul Alyani Jamil (Malaysia).
The 2023 Championships concluded with the Men’s Singles match between sporting rivals Australia and New Zealand. The Aussie superstar Aron Sherriff, already with the Mixed Pairs title under his belt, had the support of the home crowd. But kiwi Kelly wasn’t phased and was ready for battle.
What a battle it was! Kelly bolted out of the gates winning three of the first four ends earning him a healthy head start to be up 8-2. But that’s where his fun ended, with Sherriff powering home to pick up eight shots over the last three ends to win the first set 10-8.
While Sherriff started strong in the second, picking up a three on the first end, Kelly bagged the next four ends to be up 8-3 after five, with the final score 8-5 his way. The crowd was then treated to another tie-break finale, and it was shot for shot till the very end, but it was Aron’s Sherriff’s day, and his second world title of the championships. Do yourself a favour and go back and watch the replay!
So, it was Silver for New Zealand (A. Kelly) and the Bronze went home to England (M. Puckket) and Scotland (M. Stepney).
Men's Singles Finalists
L-R: Andrew Kelly (NZ), Aron Sherriff (Australia), Michael Stepney (Scotland), Martin Puckett (England).
World Bowls would like to thank our host venue, Warilla Bowls & Recreation Club, and all the markers, umpires, officials, and volunteers who were integral in making the 2023 World Bowls Indoor Championships such a success. Congratulations to everyone who had a part to play, especially the represented nations.