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Bowls - 23. February 2010.

England wins Moama International

Australia v England- Moama Bowling Club.



A spirited English outfit has risen from the dead against Australia this afternoon (23/3) to heist the Moama International on a count back.


Down and seemingly out after this morning’s men’s triples encounter, which saw Australia skip to a 3-1 lead with just two rubbers to play, world number 12 Ellen Falkner played one of the shots of her life to breathe oxygen into the contest before Sam Tolchard completed the impossible.


Facing off against Australian superstar Leif Selby, Tolchard, 20, faced the imposing task of not only defeating the world number two, but doing it in straight sets with a margin of 11 or more as the host nation clung to their early advantage.


But Tolchard refused to be deterred, taking the first set 8-5 before racing through the second 10-0 to lead his nation to glory.


“It’s always good to beat the Aussies,” an ecstatic Tolchard said after his victory.


“I couldn’t believe I pulled away like that in the second set, but I’m glad I did.”


Earlier in the day, Australia appeared to be on track to register a comprehensive overall victory as recalled skip Mark Casey showed his brilliance.


Playing alongside fellow Commonwealth Games gold medallist Wayne Turley, as well as impressive lead Mark Berghofer, the 28-year-old guided his combination to an 8-5, 6-11, 5-0 victory against Merv King, Stuart Airey and Graham Shadwell.


But during the afternoon session, the old enemy made its move as they completed the greatest heist since Ronnie Biggs.


With Natalie Melmore partnering Falkner in the women’s pairs against debutant Natasha Van Eldik and Julie Keegan, the English staged a stunning fight back to force a tie-breaker before the drama unfolded at the Moama Bowling Club.


With Keegan’s final bowl, the world championship gold medallist drew a shot to hold game, but showing nerves of steel, Falkner drew inside to snatch the match, keeping England’s hopes alive.


With Australia gripping to a 10-shot advantage, Tolchard’s impressive win was enough to send the Moama International offshore, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the host nation, according to Australian coach Rex Johnston.


“Three-all was probably a fair result,” Johnston said.


“We’re obviously disappointed, but there are a lot of positives to take away.


“It’s certainly been a learning curve.”

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