Queensland duo in bowls success

Queensland’s Lynsey Armitage and Mark Casey have captured the main prize in the women’s and men’s singles draw at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Australian captain Armitage has continued her fine run at the $125,000 event by dispatching defending champion Victoria’s Lisa Phillips to capture the elusive blue-ribbon crown.

One of the country’s leading team bowlers, who already possesses trophies for the pairs and triples discipline including this year’s triples title at the Australian Open, Armitage has now claimed the rare treble by winning the singles crown.

In the singles on Friday, the 28-year old barely stepped out of first gear against 18-year old Phillips, collecting five easy shots by the third end of the first set.

Phillips rebounded to lead 6-5 at the sixth end but the 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist stormed home to claim victory in the set 9-6.

Once her momentum was up, Armitage couldn’t be stopped collecting four shots in the first two ends of the second set. While Armitage was peaking Phillips began to falter, finding it difficult to achieve consistency and struggling to stay in touch with her Australian skipper.

Four shots in the final four ends saw the Helensvale star’s sensational form bring her home to a 9-2 victory.

Commonwealth Games gold and silver medallist Mark Casey also claimed the coveted trophy in spectacular fashion.

The classy southpaw went straight to work on the Darebin greens against his close friend and club teammate Nathan Rice, picking up consecutive counts of two over the opening five ends to establish a commanding lead of 10.

Casey wasn’t able to hold off the impending attack forever, with Rice finally finding the scoreboard on the sixth end.

It was a titanic tussle between the pair, who claimed gold alongside each other in the recent Asia Pacific Championships, with both players eager to secure their maiden Australian Open singles crown, and the $18,000 cheque that accompanies it.

“Nathan obviously played really well all week, winning the pairs but it was just great to play against a good mate,” Casey said after prevailing.

“I hadn’t won a final for a while but I’ve won my last two so hopefully the run continues”

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