Experience prevailed over youth in the singles finals at the New Zealand bowls championships earlier today.
Victoria's Helen King got home 21-14 against Tayla Bruce (Burnside) in the women's final of the Heartland Bank event, while Ali Forsyth (Havelock) claimed his third men's singles crown with a thrilling, last bowl 21-20 effort over Sean Ingham (Broadbeach).
King, aged in her 40s, has plenty of good bowls behind her, and based on today's performance, many more still to come.She dominated the greater part of the final against Bruce, 18, who could not reproduce her form from earlier in the week.
King led 14-3 and 20-10 in the final, before Bruce held on grimly. She scored four successive singles, two resulting from excellent upshots, to claw back to 20-14, but King drew another fine shot on the last end which Bruce could not better. "I think my age and experience helped me today," King said, before reflecting on what she agreed was his finest hour in the game.
Forsyth's victory was dramatic, ranking with the 1977 final between Ivan Kostanich and Kevin Wing as one of the supreme conclusions.
For the majority of the match, Forsyth, 34, held the upper hand against Ingham, 19.
He led 10-5 and 19-13 in the race to 21. But Ingham, too, battled away.
Forsyth's impressive drive was hardly seen during the final. He missed twice on the penultimate head, a three giving Ingham the lead at 20-19.On the last head, Ingham drew shot, while Forsyth drew two handy seconds.
Forsyth's third bowl was wide, but he switched to the forehand with his last, and cleanly took off Ingham's shot.
"I had better options on the forehand," Forsyth said afterwards. "It's unexpected. I came with no expectation of winning the singles, so I came here in a relaxed mode and enjoyed it. It's still extremely special."
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