Murray Wenzel / AAP News
The Aussie Jackaroo pair of Aaron Wilson and Ellen Ryan have surged the Aussies into two gold medal matches at the Birmingham Games.
Aaron Wilson has survived a mighty quarter-final scare to keep alive his bid to become Australia’s first back-to-back Commonwealth Games lawn bowls singles champion.
And Ellen Ryan is also on the brink of an unprecedented double after the singles champion reached the pairs final with Kristina Krstic.
Gold medallist on the Gold Coast four years ago, Wilson had stormed into Friday’s quarter-finals with four dominant wins at Leamington Spa’s Victoria Park, south-east of Birmingham.
But his quest to join four-time champion David Bryant as the only multiple winner of the blue riband event looked up in smoke when down 7-0 against England’s Jamie Walker on Friday.
Wilson responded with 13 shots over the next five ends, including a four on the ninth end to turn the tide.
Up 20-13, Wilson needed four ends to secure the winning shot to win 21-16 and land a Saturday semi-final berth against Scotland’s Iain McLean.
“Wasn’t helpful to start seven-zip, not th e best,” he said.
“But sometimes you have to do it tough and tough it out I certainly did.
“He’s (McLean) been the talk of the place at the moment, been in some hot form and (I’ll need to be) all guns blazing tomorrow.”
Nicknamed Disco, Wilson made waves on the Broadbeach greens four years ago when he ripped his shirt off and celebrated becoming just the third Australian, after Kelvin Kerkow and Rob Parrella, to claim the title.
Victory would thrust him further into the history books and sit him behind only Englishman Bryant, who dominated the event in the 1960s and 1970s.
Australia have already claimed historic gold in the women’s singles on Monday, Ryan breaking the country’s hoodoo in the event with her own stirring comeback in the gold medal game.
Ryan’s week could get even better, the 25-year-old and best friend Kristina Krstic beating Malaysia 13-10 in a tense semi-final that entered the final end with Australia clinging to a two-shot lead.
Natasha van Eldik and Rebecca van Asch won golds in the triples and fours on the Gold Coast, but no Australian has notched this double.
Ryan admitted the singles title was a bonus, telling AAP after the win “that was the one I was always dreaming about”.
Para-mixed pairs team Helen Boardman and Jake Fehlberg lost their bronze medal match to England, 14-11, on Friday.
Australia claimed silver in the men’s triples and both men’s and women’s Para-lawn bowls pairs earlier in the week.