Jo Edwards wins gold in Games bowls singles

Glasgow glory for Nelson's Edwards

MATT RICHENS IN GLASGOW
Last updated 07:02 28/07/2014
Jo Edwards
Getty Images

BOWLED OVER: Jo Edwards competes in the Women's Singles Lawn Bowls during day three of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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Jo Edwards' had the added pressure of vindicating her position as New Zealand's singles player hanging over her when she this morning won a Commonwealth Games medal, says husband and national coach Dave Edwards.

Edwards beat defending Commonwealth Games champion Natalie Melmore 21-15. 

An emotional Dave Edwards said as a coach he was over the moon but as a husband he was immensely proud. 

"There's been a lot of pressure on Jo," he said.

"The big decision that we made to replace Val [Smith] as the singles player and to put Jo in there did mount a bit of pressure on Jo to perform and I know she felt that so it's a huge achievement under that added pressure.

It was New Zealand's first singles gold at the bowls since 1994 when Katie Portas won the visually impaired women's event. 

Edwards made a rollicking start to the match and led 7-0 then 15-2.

But Melmore didn't want to celebrate her 25th birthday with a thumping and fought back well. 

She won four ends in a row to to cut Edwards' lead to six at 18-12, but the Kiwi held on. 

Earlier the women's four of skip Mandy Boyd, Val Smith, Amy McIlroy and Selina Goddard won bronze - New Zealand's first medal away from the velodrome and the judo mat.

They beat Scotland 21-15, though the score flattered the Kiwis and didn't show how close the contest was.

Boyd was cool as ice when it mattered in a dramatic finish.

After being locked at 3-3, 6-6 and 9-9, the Kiwis pulled away to lead 16-9 with four ends to go and the bronze looked won. But the Scots pegged them back and the teams started the final end with the New Zealand four leading 16-15.

Down two shots in the final end, Boyd drove and hit the jack into the ditch. Scottish skip Margaret Lethem was unable to save the situation with her final bowl and the Kiwis picked up five shots.

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