Perfect day for the Blackjacks at the Asia Pacific Championships

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Jo Edwards in action against Japan’s
Keiko Kurohara at Musgrave Hill Bowls Club

Jo Edwards has overcome one of her longest-running rivals to cap a commanding performance from the Blackjacks on day two of the Asia Pacific Championships on the Gold Coast.

The two-time defending Commonwealth Games champion has beaten 1994 gold medallist Carmen Anderson of Norfolk Island 21-14 in the sixth round of the women’s singles to remain on track to progress from her section.

“We’ve got a very friendly rivalry,” Edwards said.

“She’s an amazing player. She’s got such a great record behind her.

“I just try and play to my strengths and play to what I know.”

Edwards was earlier pushed by Keiko Kurohara in her only other match on day two at Musgrave Hill Bowls Club.

“The Japanese lady played unbelievable this morning and I really, really had to play well to win that game.”

Jo Edwards believes there has been a noticeable lift in standards from the lesser known bowls nations.

“No longer are the minnow countries minnows.

“Without being rude it kind of used to be how many are you going to win by, but now you know you have to knuckle down to even get a win.”

Ali Forsyth (skip), Jamie Hill and Mike Kernaghan found that out in the sixth round of the men’s triples, when they had to come back from 14-5 down to beat Fiji, also at Musgrave Hill.

“It was certainly looking very dodgy there for a long time and we were all battling and just one key end was able to change the game,” Forsyth said.

“I think it was a good battle of patience and good stickability that we’ve managed to sneak away with a win.

“We’ll take that and run away quick.”

The New Zealand men’s triple earlier edged Malaysia 15-13 and now boast a perfect five from five record, as do the women’s four and the men’s pair.

Val Smith (skip), Katelyn Inch, Kirsten Edwards and Wendy Jensen have ground out wins over Macao and the USA at Broadbeach Bowls Club, while Gary Lawson (skip) and Shannon McIlroy claimed the major scalp of Canada, after beating Japan in the morning at Club Helensvale.
There’s another day of section play before the quarter-finals and semi-finals on Friday and the gold medal matches on Saturday.

The second week of competition will feature the women’s pairs and triples and men’s singles and fours.

Day two results:

Women’s singles – Jo Edwards beat Japan 21-18 & beat Norfolk Island 21-14

Men’s pairs – Gary Lawson (skip) and Shannon McIlroy beat Japan 19-13 & beat Canada 15-11

Men’s triples – Ali Forsyth (skip), Jamie Hill and Mike Kernaghan beat Malaysia 15-13 & beat Fiji 17-15

Women’s fours – Val Smith (skip), Katelyn Inch, Kirsten Edwards and Wendy Jensen beat Macao 16-11 & beat the USA 19-14