Perfect McIlroy caps Blackjacks’ golden haul

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Shannon McIlroy with his gold medal and trophy for winning the men’s singles title at the Asia Pacific Championships on the Gold Coast.

Shannon McIlroy has completed a perfect campaign at the Asia Pacific Championships on the Gold Coast.

McIlroy has won the men’s singles title, six days after winning the men’s pairs with Gary Lawson, to secure the Blackjacks’ fourth gold from eight events.

“Not often you go through any event undefeated, let alone an international event. There are some amazing players here,” he said.

“It just goes to show me the work you put in, not just off the green but on the green as well, it can go a long way to having…success.”

McIlroy’s 20th and final successive win was the hardest to come by.

The world champion had to come from 10-0 down to beat Canada’s Ryan Bester 21-20 in a thrilling men’s singles final.

“Experience tells me you just need to extend games and then see what happens,” McIlroy said.

“Credit to Ryan, the first sort of seven to eight ends he was unbelievable so you’ve just got to tip your hat and say too good sometimes.

“I was pretty happy with that second-half performance.”

With two golds and two silvers, the Blackjacks also secured the overall men’s title, ahead of Australia.

Shannon McIlroy believes they have sent a message to their rivals, less than a year out from the world championships, which will also be played on the Gold Coast.

“Us making finals and winning a lot of them goes a long way to just plant a seed of doubt for our opposition players that we come up against at world championships.

“If you can walk on the green and you’ve half beaten them mentally then that’s half the job done.”

“For us it was vitally important to go out there and do as best as we could and send a statement to everyone.

“No doubt the UK nations would have been watching a fair bit of this so [we’re] pretty happy.”

Ali Forsyth (skip), Gary Lawson, Jamie Hill and Mike Kernaghan earlier had to settle for silver in the men’s fours, losing 21-17 to Australia in the final.

But Kernaghan feels they let a gold medal slip through their fingers.

“We should have won that to be fair,” he said.

“15-9 up, after getting a slow start, having been 8-2 down, we were going okay and just some silly mistakes cost us really.

“That’s the way sport goes sometimes, but still can’t get over the fact that’s one we definitely should have one.”

It is the second silver for Kernaghan, Hill and Forsyth after they were also beaten by Australia in the finals of the men’s triples.

“We beat the teams we should have beaten and when you’re playing Australia on their turf it’s always going to be a coin toss,” Kernaghan said.

“In the triples we were two down with three to go and held one and Aron Sherriff played a brilliant bowl and got a four and that was sort of the end of the game really.

“They’re bloody good players and I’d like to think we’re not too bad either, but still not handling the two silvers too well.”

Jo Edwards and Kirsten Edwards were also presented their bronze medals in the women’s pairs, which meant New Zealand’s tally finished at seven, with four gold, two silver and a bronze.

Day 10 results:

Men’s singles – Shannon McIlroy beat Ryan Bester (Canada) 21-20 in the final

Men’s fours – Ali Forsyth (skip), Gary Lawson, Jamie Hill & Mike Kernaghan lost to Australia 17-21 in the final