Blackjacks prevail in two trans-Tasman semi-finals


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Andrew Kelly, Chris Le Lievre and Ali Forsyth watch on in their men’s triples semi-final against Australia Yellow.

New Zealand will have at least two finalists at the Multi Nations tournament on the Gold Coast.

The men’s pair and men’s triple have won their trans-Tasman semi-finals at the Broadbeach Bowls Club to advance to Sunday’s title matches.

Ali Forsyth (skip), Andrew Kelly and Chris Le Lievre prevailed 16-15 against Australia Yellow in their men’s triples playoff, after jumping out to an early lead.

“Another really tough battle and the boys played really well off the front and laid a good platform,” Forsyth said.

“We controlled it for the most part, but any team that has Aron Sherriff in it you’re never safe, so pretty pleased to hold on for the one shot victory.”

Forsyth’s new-look triple earlier beat Australia Green 14-12 to finish round-robin with a perfect seven from seven record.

“We’re ticking along nicely and improving bit by bit with each game which is very pleasing.

“It’s a pretty untested line-up. I haven’t played with Andrew for a very long time and Chris hardly ever so we’re just learning as we go and trying to build that bond.”

Gary Lawson (skip) and Jamie Hill completed a 17-10 win over Australia Yellow in the semi-finals of the men’s pairs, having secured their place in the top four with an 18-all draw with Australia Green in their final round-robin match.

That game was Lawson’s 300th for New Zealand, becoming just the 10th Blackjack to reach the milestone.

Jo Edwards and the women’s four will both playoff for third and fourth on Sunday after losing their semi-finals.

Edwards, the two-time defending Commonwealth Games women’s singles champion, was beaten 21-15 by Canada’s Kelly McKerihen, after falling behind 10-3 early.

She was troubled by a leg injury and needed ice after a few ends.

Val Smith (skip), Katelyn Inch, Selina Goddard and Tayla Bruce snuck through to the semi-finals of the women’s fours, despite a 14-9 defeat to Australia Green in their final round-robin game, but were in control of the rematch.

They led 13-3 after 10 ends only to lose 15-14.

The third/fourth playoffs and finals will be played on Sunday, with round-robin play in the men’s singles, women’s pairs, women’s triples and men’s fours starting tomorrow (Thursday, November 21).

Day three results:

Women’s singles – Jo Edwards beat Ellen Ryan (Australia Green) 21-15 in the final round & lost 15-21 to Kelly McKerihen (Canada) in the semi-finals.

Men’s pairs – Gary Lawson (skip) & Jamie Hill drew 18-all with Australia Green in the final round & beat Australia Yellow 17-10 in the semi-finals.

Men’s triples – Ali Forsyth (skip), Andrew Kelly & Chris Le Lievre beat Australia Green 14-12 in the final round & beat Australia Yellow 16-15 in the semi-finals.

Women’s fours – Val Smith (skip), Katelyn Inch, Selina Goddard & Tayla Bruce lost 9-14 to Australia Green in the final round & lost 14-15 to Australia Green in the semi-finals.