Gary Kelly and Jo Edwards are World Cup Champions
Irish international Gary Kelly and New Zealand superstar Jo Edwards were crowned as World Cup indoor singles champions in Australia at the Warilla Bowls & Recreation Club overnight.
It was a sixth win for Commonwealth Games singles gold medallist Edwards, while Kelly, who is currently living in Australia, lifted the title after beating clubmate Brendan Aquilina, who represented Malta, in the final.
The male pair played superbly over the nine days of competition and bot were undefeated coming into the main event, having dropped just one set apiece from their 11 qualifying rounds.
Aquilina ended local hopes of a seventh victory from resident pro, former Irish international Jeremy Henry with a straight sets semi final win.
Of the 15 World Cups competed since 2005, no fewer than eight have been won by players of Irish descent, with James Talbot in 2011, Henry ‘s six in 2012, ’13, ’14, ’16, ’17, ’18 and now Gary Kelly with his 11-4 9-3 scoreline.
Edwards reaffirmed her mantle as the most-successful female competitor in bowls history when she claimed the women’s title.
She joined Jeremy Henry as a six-times winner of this event, having previously won in 2009, ’10, ’11, ’13 and 2017, plus, in the process Edwards won her 13th ‘major’, two clear of Northern Ireland’s legendary Margaret Johnston’s eleven.
Edwards defeated Guernsey’s Lucy Beere, the defending champion 8-5 10-5 in a repeat of the 2017 final – in which she defeated Beere 8-5 2-9 4-1.
Edwards remained calm under fire as last year’s winner made a last ditch charge at a repeat crown. But when the scores sat tied at 5-5 after six ends, Edwards raised the tempo scoring a single and a pair of twos to capture an unprecedented sixth title.