Forsyth the fourth Blackjack to 400


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Ali Forsyth in action on day one of the men’s fours, with Jamie Hill and Chris Le Lievre watching on

Another Blackjack has reached a major milestone at the Multi Nations tournament on the Gold Coast.

Ali Forsyth has celebrated his 400th cap for New Zealand at Musgrave Hill Bowls Club, little over 24 hours after Gary Lawson played his 300th game, with a much-needed 23-11 win over Norfolk Island in the third round of the men’s fours.

The Lawson skipped quartet, also featuring Jamie Hill and Chris Le Lievre, had earlier slumped to defeats to South Africa and Canada that left them equal bottom of the table.

Forsyth is just the fourth New Zealander to reach the 400 game mark and trails only team-mates Jo Edwards and Val Smith, and Rowan Brassey on the all-time appearance list.

Edwards and Smith are better placed after day one of their respective disciplines.

Edwards showed her class in the women’s pairs, brushing off a quadricep injury to team-up with Tayla Bruce at Musgrave Hill and win their opening three matches.

They handed Wales their first defeat in the third round, winning 18-15 after earlier accounting for South Africa and Canada.

Smith skipped the women’s triple at Club Helensvale, also featuring Katelyn Inch and Selina Goddard, to an impressive 20-10 win over South Africa, before slumping to a 16-14 defeat Canada, after being one up playing the final end.

But they then bounced back to beat Wales 18-11 to sit atop the standings after three of seven rounds.

Also at Club Helensvale, Andrew Kelly won two of his three matches in the men’s singles, beating South Africa and Norfolk Island either side of a 21-18 defeat to Canada’s Ryan Bester.

“Bit disappointed against Canada…I was up 18-13 so to let that slip was pretty disappointing,” Kelly said.

Remarkably that result was his rink coach Graeme Rees’ first international defeat of the year, having overseen Shannon McIlroy’s perfect run through the Asia Pacific Championships in June and the men’s triple’s eight from eight record at the Multi Nations earlier this week.

“29 and 0, hell of an effort. Not sure what his secret is but sorry to dash his hopes,” Kelly said.

There are a further three rounds of play in each of the disciplines tomorrow (Friday, November 22) with the semi-finals on Saturday evening.

Day four results:

Men’s singles – Andrew Kelly beat Jason Evans (South Africa) 21-12, lost 18-21 to Ryan Bester (Canada) & beat Gary Bigg (Norfolk Island) 21-4.

Women’s pairs – Jo Edwards (skip) & Tayla Bruce beat South Africa 18-13, beat Canada 17-13 & beat Wales 18-15.

Women’s triples – Val Smith (skip), Katelyn Inch & Selina Goddard beat South Africa 20-10, lost 14-16 to Canada & beat Wales 18-11.

Men’s fours – Gary Lawson (skip), Ali Forsyth, Jamie Hill & Chris Le Lievre lost 12-13 to South Africa, lost 9-16 to Canada & beat Norfolk Island 23-11.