Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Ryan's run at Australian Open comes to an end

Shepparton Park bowler Mark Ryan has been defeated in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

DAMEN FRANCIS February 20, 2014 4:35am

Shepparton Park bowler Mark Ryan has fallen one hurdle short of the Australian Open men’s singles final for the second time in his career.

Ryan lost yesterday’s semi-final 21-12 to Australian international Brett Wilkie, who last won the title in 2009 — the year Ryan first reached the final four.

Ryan, 30, booked his place in this year’s semi-finals with a 21-15 victory against Australian squad member Matthew Baus yesterday morning, winning 12 of the 20 ends played and leading by as many as eight shots after 17 ends.

The semi-finals were due to start at 1.30pm, only to be pushed back to 4pm.

Ryan gave up an early lead, but dragged a seven-shot deficit back to four.

However, an unsuccessful drive handed Wilkie four shots and an almost unassailable 20-9 lead.

To Ryan’s credit, he pegged back four shots over the next two ends, but Wilkie finally got the single shot he needed to advance to the $18000 men’s singles decider.

Wilkie will meet Bendigo’s Nathan Wilson, whose brother, Aaron, won the title last year.

There were mixed results for Goulburn Valley Bowlers in the fours events.

Kyabram trio Darren Boswood, Russell Locke and David Cartwright and Stanhope’s Merv Harvey were eliminated in the first round of the men’s fours, but at the time of writing, Shepparton RSL’s Dennis McHarry and Mal Williams of Shepparton Golf were still alive.

Playing with ex-Seymour bowler Luke Spargo and Bendigo’s Barry Anset, McHarry and Williams won their opening game on Tuesday night 19-13 and their second 16-13 yesterday morning. Their quarter-final was due to be played at 6.30pm yesterday.

In the women’s fours, Mooroopna Golf’s Elsie Gale and Mooroopna’s Stacey Collier — playing with Kerri Leask of Benalla and Carol McEwen of Bendigo Golf — won their opening game 18-16, but were defeated 24-2 in round two.

The tournament concludes today.

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