New Zealand Hopefuls Bow out of Hong Kong Classic


Kiwi pairings Andrew Kelly, Blake Signal, Nicole Toomey and Sarah Scott have equally bowed out of the Hong Kong International Classic, falling in their respective semi-finals on Saturday.

Following an electric performance from Kelly and Signal in their play-offs encounter against reigning champions Ben Twist and Jesse Noronha earlier in the piece, the Blackjack duo lined up opposite Section A winners Ireland, taking on the well performed Ian McClure and Aaron Tennant in what promised to be a tightly-fought contest.

A first set win to Ireland saw Kelly and Signal rally, recompose themselves and bounce back in fine style to close out the second set, sending the game to a three end tie-breaker. Despite the Kiwi’s best efforts, McClure and Tennant proved too strong at the crunch, taking the tie-break 4-0 and advancing to the Grand Finale.

Across rinks, Toomey and Scott found themselves up against pre-tournament favourites Malaysia, with the vast experience of multiple Commonwealth Games medalist Siti Zalina Ahmad shining through in the second set to claim a comfortable 17-1 margin and advance through to the final.

The first set saw the Malaysian pairing scrape through 11-10, with Toomey and Scott justifiably left to feel proud of themselves for an impressive showing on the international stage and claim bronze for their efforts in Hong Kong – along with Kelly and Signal.

The men’s final will see McClure and Tennant go head-to-head with the giant killing Philippines duo of Angelo Morales and Curte Guarin – who earlier accounted for Section B winners Scotland in a commanding second set performance, 9-9, 5-10.

Meanwhile, the star power Australian pairing of Ellen Ryan and Natasha Scott will prove to be an exciting match-up opposite Ahmad and Emma Saroji, with Ryan and Scott advancing to the final courtesy of a tie-break win against Rosita Bradborn and Sonia Bruce, of the Philippines.

Both finals will be livestreamed on Youtube on Sunday (November 18) at 3pm NZT and will be played at the Craigengower Cricket Club complex.