McIlroy stages big comeback to maintain perfect record


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Shannon McIlroy is the last remaining unbeaten member of the Blackjacks squad at the Asia Pacific Championships on the Gold Coast.

But the men’s pairs gold medallist has needed to showcase his renowned mental strength to win all three of his games on day two of section play in the men’s singles.

McIlroy has had to come from 15-3 down to beat Tony Cheung of Hong Kong 21-16, either side of wins over Thailand (21-14) and Japan (21-4).

“I’m not bad at recovering from poor starts,” McIlroy said.

“It wasn’t that long ago I [gave up] a 15-1 lead in New Zealand’s national singles semi-finals.

“In a way [I was] thinking about that and thinking well if he can do that to me in the first-half I can do that to him in the second-half.

“And sure enough I was good enough to play an exceptional second-half.”

The world champion believes it is the best he has played at the tournament to date.

“I probably would have played 25 perfect bowls in a row.

“I didn’t think I missed one effective shot through the last hour and a quarter of that game so I was pretty happy with the way I dug in and got that victory.”

Having gone a perfect 10 from 10 on the way to winning the men’s pairs title with Gary Lawson last week, McIlroy’s now five from five in the singles and on his way to securing top spot in his section.

All members of the unbeaten New Zealand women’s four have suffered their first defeats at the Asia Pacific Championships.

Val Smith (skip), Katelyn Inch and Wendy Jensen lost 16-13 to India in the fourth round of the women’s triples, before bouncing back with wins over Papua New Guinea (22-12) and the Philippines (14-9).

Kirsten Edwards and Jo Edwards (skip) have lost in the fifth round of the women’s pairs, going down 16-14 to Malaysia, in between resounding wins over Niue (37-4) and Macau (33-8).

Both women’s combinations still lead their sections, but Ali Forsyth (skip), Gary Lawson, Jamie Hill and Mike Kernaghan are sitting third in their group of the men’s fours.

They’ve had a win and a draw after starting the day with a fourth round bye, beating the USA 17-13, before playing out a 15-all stalemate with Malaysia.

There’s another day of section play in each discipline, before the quarter-finals and semis on Thursday and the gold medal matches on Friday.

New Zealand’s post-section games will be livestreamed on stuff.co.nz

Day seven results:

Men’s singles – Shannon McIlroy beat Thailand 21-14, beat Hong Kong 21-16 & beat Japan 21-4

Women’s pairs – Jo Edwards (skip) & Kirsten Edwards beat Niue 37-4, lost 14-16 to Malaysia & beat Macau 33-8

Women’s triples – Val Smith (skip), Katelyn Inch & Wendy Jensen lost to India 13-16, beat Papua New Guinea 22-12 & beat the Philippines 14-9

Men’s fours – Ali Forsyth (skip), Gary Lawson, Jamie Hill & Mike Kernaghan beat the USA 17-13 & drew with Malaysia 15-15