Tassie bowler a world champ

INVERMAY'S Rebecca Quail has become the first Tasmanian to win a lawn bowls world championship.

In a thrilling finish to the gold-medal final in Adelaide last night, the 24-year-old skipped the Australian pair with Queenslander Kelsey Cottrell to a nail-biting 14-12 victory against New Zealand's defending champions Val Smith and Jo Edwards.

It was the realisation of a long-held dream for Quail, who kept her nerve with the final shots of what she said was her sport's equivalent of the Olympics.

``Val and Jo are absolute champions and we knew no matter how far we got ahead they would come back at us, but fortunately we just got there in the end,'' Quail said.

In front of a full house at Lockleys Bowling Club, the Australians took early control.

Quail gave the tournament hosts two shots on the 10th end and denied the Kiwis as many on the 11th.

After 12 ends, Australia was 13-7 up before Smith and Edwards reduced the arrears with back-to-back ends and were two behind with two to play.

But Quail produced what Bowls Australia commentator Mark Braybrook called ``the biggest shot of her career'' to snatch the penultimate end and establish a three-shot lead.

Twenty-two-year-old Cottrell took over in a nerve-jangling final end before Quail produced a toucher to give the Australians two shots.

Seeking her third straight pairs world title, world No. 1 Edwards put the Kiwis three up before Tasmanian Institute of Sport scholarship-holder Quail regained the advantage to seal a win.

Cottrell and Quail dominated the tournament, beating the Kiwis 17-11, and then Scotland.

Grabbing 11 victories from 12 preliminary matches, they claimed the scalps of Hong Kong China, Netherlands, Thailand, US, Canada, Fiji, Norfolk Island and Israel with a solitary loss to South Africa, before again thumping the Scottish pair of Claire Johnston and Margaret Letham 24-1 in their semi-final on Tuesday.


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