New Zealand star Jo Edwards clinched a sixth World Cup singles crown, while Northern Ireland’s Gary Kelly beat Malta’s Brendan Aquilina in the first all-Warilla men’s final at Warilla Bowls Club.
Edwards denied Guernsey’s Lucy Beere back-to-back women’s title with an 8-5, 10-5 victory to match Jeremy Henry’s six titles in the men’s competition.
Edwards is widely regarded as the world’s best female player and claimed her first World Cup in 2009, plus added to the record-breaking run in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2017.
The Kiwi great and Guernsey’s Alison Merrien (2008, 2012) are the only female bowlers to win multiple world cups in the 15 years of the competition.
‘’To equal Jeremy is just amazing,’’ Edwards said.
‘’I regard Warilla as like my second home and love this event. Every win here is unique …a little bit of luck went my way today which made all the difference.’’
Meanwhile Kelly, playing in his first World Cup was just too consistent for his Warilla clubmate Aquilina in the decider, winning 11-4, 9-3.
The 29-year-old Northern Irishman only arrived in Australia in January and rated the Cup triumph the biggest win of his career – surpassing his silver medal in the 2016 World Championships Pairs and Singles bronze medal at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
‘’It’s massive. To win an event with ‘world’ in the title makes it my best achievement,’’ Kelly said.
‘’I’ve been at Warilla for only nine to 10 weeks but everyone has made me feel welcome. I’ve come to know Brendan (Aquilina) and we’ve become friends. It’s great we were both able to make the final and I’ve been fortunate to play very well this week.’’
Kelly and Aquilina also made history as the first time both mens finalists were undefeated with both winning their 11 sectional games, plus a semi-final.
Earlier on Wednesday, Aquilina denied Jeremy Henry the chance to win a fourth straight World Cup by beating the Cup king in a tight semi-final.
Aquilina had a great week and showed he belonged in the very highest company; going one place better than his bronze medal finish in 2018, while he previously claimed a silver medal in the U25s Cup. The 2019 World Cup was also a triumph for Warilla BC, with its four men’s representatives – Kelly, Aquilina, Henry and Aaron Teys – all making the knockout phase.
There was no denying that debutant Kelly was the star of the men’s event, winning his 11 sectional matches and dropping just one set along the way against Teys in round three.
Kelly won 20 sets out of a possible 22 in the sectional rounds, and continued his excellent form with an 6-5, 11-4 victory over Scotland’s John Fleming Tuesday’s semi-final.