King versus kid in women's singles bowls final

GRANT HASSALL
Last updated 05:00 02/01/2014
 Helen King
FINAL FLING: Helen King will be flying the flag for Wellington and her Victoria club in the women’s singles final.

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It's Canterbury versus Wellington in the women's singles final at the New Zealand bowls championships in Dunedin.

Helen King, of the Victoria club in Wellington, will meet Tayla Bruce, of the Burnside club in Christchurch, in the final on Saturday, after both had comfortable semifinal victories yesterday.

King beat Taradale's Angela Boyd 21-13, while Bruce accounted for Silverstream's Clare McCaul 21-11 in the semis. The final will be a first for both players.

King is a vastly experienced Wellington representative, with 20 centre titles to her credit. Her previous best showing at the nationals was third-equal in the pairs with McCaul.

She powered away from the mid-point in her game with Boyd, after they had been locked at 10-all.

"I was not worried then," King said, "as I felt I was playing well."

A four on the next end was followed by two singles and a three. Suddenly, King was in charge at 19-10. Boyd pulled back three shots on the next end, but King closed the match out with a brace on the following head.

Bruce, 18, will become the youngest winner ever of any discipline, male or female, at the nationals should she triumph.

She is in her sixth year of bowls and impressed immensely with a cool and controlled delivery and very accurate draw play.

She didn't become ruffled, either, when McCaul grabbed a four on the seventh end to lead 8-6. Rather, it seemed to coax her into concentrating even harder. Bruce claimed the next three ends to lead 12-6. Four heads later the score had become 17-9 and she was in a dominant mood.

McCaul tried, first with a full-length end and then with the mat up close to the peg, but both times Bruce jumped straight onto her weight to ensure victory.

Meanwhile, heavy rain brought the the men's pairs semifinals to a premature halt yesterday afternoon. Play will resume tomorrow afternoon.

In the semis, Andy McLean and Mitchell Will (North East Valley) are tied at 4-all after four ends against the Munro brothers, John (Morphett Vale Adelaide) and Ross (Forbury Park).

The other semi has Tony Grantham (Birkenhead) and Michael Nagy (Taren Point) 7-6 in front of Gary Lawson (Victoria) and Ben King (Wilton) after eight of the 18 ends.

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