In a thrilling showdown at the 2023 World Bowls Championship Women’s Triples final, Australia’s formidable trio of Kelsey Cottrell, Lynsey Clarke, and Dawn Hayman asserted their dominance early on. With impeccable draw shots, they secured four out of the first five ends, racing to a commanding 6-1 lead against New Zealand’s Val Smith, Tayla Bruce, and Leeane Poulson.
The Australians’ stellar performance made it tough for the New Zealanders to find their rhythm. They managed to eke out singles on ends four and six, but a three and a two later extended their deficit to a staggering nine shots after eight ends. With time running out, New Zealand needed to mount their comeback.
Val Smith stepped up, executing two flawless draw shots to secure another single, boosting the confidence of Bruce and Poulson. On a pivotal 10th end, Leeane and Tayla made a strong move, holding three shots. However, Cottrell’s precise drive reduced the count to one, marking New Zealand’s first consecutive scores and reducing the gap to seven with eight ends remaining.
End twelve saw New Zealand holding a critical shot that could have brought them within striking distance of Australia’s lead. But Australian Skipper Kelsey Cottrell delivered a perfect shot, denying New Zealand their fourth consecutive score and maintaining the seven-shot difference.
New Zealand fought valiantly, with Val Smith finding her range on the challenging Broadbeach green. They managed a single on the 13th end and a two on the 14th end, achieving their first multiple score of the match and reducing Australia’s lead to a mere four with four ends left.
A spirited last bowl from Cottrell on the 15th and 16th ends secured two singles for Australia, all but sealing the gold medal. New Zealand, desperate for a breakthrough on the penultimate end, settled for a single shot, leaving them in need of a near-impossible five on the final end.
Despite their efforts, New Zealand couldn’t muster the substantial score required to force extra time. Australia defended their World Championship Women’s Triple title, leaving New Zealand to settle for a well-earned silver medal.