Murray Wenzel / AAP News
The Commonwealth Games debutant has broken the British hoodoo for the Australian Jackaroos winning the women’s singles for the first time in Commonwealth Games Australia history.
Ellen Ryan has made Australian lawn bowls history, and denied Guernsey a slice of its own, by claiming Commonwealth Games gold in the women’s singles.
Ryan’s see-sawing 21-17 victory was Australia’s first in the blue ribband event, as she rallied from 6-0, 10-2 and then 16-12 down to end Lucy Beere’s quest to become her country’s first Games gold medallist since 1990.
But silver was still the Channel Islands nation of just 65,000 people’s first medal of any kind since 1994.
Beaten 21-11 in the group stages by the 40-year-old Beere, Ryan was under the pump early.
But the 25-year-old had toughed it out to make the final and was happy to grit her teeth again, rallying despite regular brilliance from the favourite and then holding her nerve at the packed-out arena on the south-east edge of Birmingham.
Beere somehow threaded a powerful drive through all the traffic in a crucial moment to close the 20th end, Ryan earning three to surge ahead by o ne shot.
The Australian kept attacking, collecting shots on the 22nd and 23rd ends to build a three-shot advantage at the final end she was able to confidently defend.
Earlier Australia’s men’s triples team fell agonisingly short of one of the great lawn bowls comebacks, denied gold in a 14-12 loss to England.
Three-time medallist Barrie Lester and debutants Carl Healey and Ben Twist were trailing 12-1 on Monday, seemingly without answers as the hosts made clutch shot after clutch shot.
But the tide slowly turned and four at the 11th end silenced the capacity crowd and brought Twist’s team into the conversation.
They gained four more shots over the next four ends to draw level with two ends to play against the English trio of Louis Ridout, Nick Brett and Jamie Chestney.
English skip Chestney then turned a one-shot Australian advantage into an English shot with his final effort on the penultimate end.
They went tit-for-tat in the 18th end, Healey stopping his bowl closest before Chestney again knocked it clear to den y the Jackaroos.
Twist had the final chance to steal victory, or at least force extra time by putting the jack into the gutter, but his power shot missed to the right.
It was Lester’s third Games silver after two seconds on the Gold Coast to go with a bronze at the 2006 Games in Melbourne.
Undeterred by the gutting near-miss, that trio will combine later in the week in the men’s fours campaign.
Earlier on Monday Cheryl Lindfield, Australia’s most senior athlete at 63, qualified for Wednesday’s women’s para pairs gold medal match with Serena Bonnell.