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Australia and England snare bowls golds

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/12/2016

Australia and England have claimed the first gold medals on offer at the bowls world championships in Christchurch.

The Australian women's fours made no race of their final at the Burnside Bowling Club, hammering England 23-8.

Up 11-2 at the halfway point through nine ends, the foursome skipped by Natasha Scott were never threatened.

She and team-mates Kelsey Cottrell, Rebecca Van Asch and Carla Krizanic maintained their standards to the end, seeing off an English combination led by Rebecca Wigfield who were unbeaten all week.

The men's triples decider was tighter, with the English combination of skip Andrew Knapper, Jamie Walker and Robert Paxton needing an extra end to prevail 15-14.

Trailing 12-9, the English ground out a 14-12 lead before Australia's Aron Sherriff, Barrie Lester and Mark Casey picked up two shots on the 18th and final end.

It was a second successive silver medal in the class for Australia. Casey was part of the triple who finished runners-up in Adelaide in 2012 when his country claimed four of the eight gold medals on offer.

Two more titles will be decided on Sunday when Australia and Ireland meet in the men's pairs final, before Australian defending champion Karen Murphy and Scotland's Lesley Doig fight for the women's singles crown.

Host nation New Zealand have had to settle for bronze in each of the first four classes this week, having slumped to semi-final losses on Friday.

Four more classes will be contested next week.

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