Melissa Larcombe and Veronica Kelly came close to playing in today’s Australian Open women’s pairs final at Darebin.By Geordie Cowan
City of Echuca lawn bowlers Melissa Larcombe and Veronica Kelly came close to playing in today’s Australian Open women’s pairs final at Darebin, narrowly losing their semi-final on Wednesday.
It was a bittersweet experience for the pair after playing so well through the first few rounds and the early part of the semi-final, before falling just short against Queensland’s Carol Williams and Jane Bush 11-4 6-7 1-5.
‘‘We’re really proud of how we bowled in the first three games and the semi-final and to know we can match it with the best of them,’’ Larcombe said.
‘‘It was really exciting. We both bowled so well.’’
The outcome of the tournament showed just how competitive it was in the finals of big events, Kelly said.
‘‘It’s such a shame because we had bowled so well the whole game, but the sets play and tie-breakers are very precarious and the game can change very quickly,’’ she said.
‘‘Sure enough, our opposition jumped on (us) in the tie-breaker. There was not much in it, but enough.’’
Larcombe said it was a strange finish to the semi-final, with both sets of players unable to play at their best.
‘‘Personally, I think the situation just overwhelmed me slightly at the end,’’ she said.
‘‘I just didn’t think clearly like I normally would have
‘‘We were very unlucky. We easily won the first set and
‘‘It could have gone either way.’’
Both players said they were ‘‘pretty devastated’’ with the final result, but would take many positives from their experiences.
‘‘It hurts a bit at the moment, but just to get that far was an achievement for us little country girls, so we’re pretty happy and it just gives us the inspiration that we can compete at that level and we’ll continue to keep trying to do that,’’ Kelly said.
Their opponents play national pair Kelsey Cottrell and Lynsey Armitage in the final at 4pm today.
The women must recover from their exploits quickly, with both playing in their club’s division pennant title grand final today at Deniliquin.
Larcombe then plays finals for Clayton in the Premier League on Tuesday and soon after that will be the champions week, where she will play singles, pairs and triples — with Kelly in the pairs and triples events.
‘‘Live and learn,’’ Larcombe said.
‘‘Defeats are the things that make you stronger.’’
‘‘We’re very determined to finish off the season in a good way,’’ Kelly added.
Joan Tennent made the second round of the women’s singles event after defeating Samantha Shannahan 8-6 5-11 5-3 first-up, while Lachlan Jones and Donna Clarke lost in their respective first round matches.
The Australian Open finals are held today.
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