The finals were played at the Mandurah Bowling Club indoor complex. Only four players were left, fighting for the one Australian qualifying spot, with two South Perth Millers still in contention – Scott Walker and Ashley Sharp.
In the first semi-final Scott took on Queensland State player Trentan Healey. Trentan had beaten Scott in the final of the International Open a day earlier, in a very close match.
Scores were locked at 6-6 in the first set, before Scott won the final two ends to claim the set and gain a huge advantage in the match. The second set was again close, 2-2 after 4 ends, but Scott broke the match open – going 3,1,2 to lead 8-2. Needing 7 out of a possible 8 shots, it was virtually an impossible task for Trentan. He scored a 1 on the penultimate end, which was not enough and Scott was into the final.
In the other semi-final it was Ashley Sharp up against another local player Dave Rankin from Doubleview Bowling Club. Ashley got off to a flyer, leading 5-1 in the first set, but it was Dave who settled and had all the answers over the course of the next few ends – going on a 11-0 run and winning the set comfortably.
Ashley regained his composure in the 2nd set, and the match looked to be heading for a tie-break. Ashley was leading 6-4 with an end to play, but there was heart-break on the final end for the Miller – dropping a two and the match – 5-12 6-6.
So the final was an all local affair – Scott Walker v Dave Rankin. The winner was off to the UK for a trip of a lifetime…
The first set was mostly a one-way affair – Scott won 6 of the first 7 ends to lead 10-3. Dave hit back with a maximum count of 4 on the 8th end to give himself hope of pinching the set, but it was Scott who won the final end and the first set.
Dave played a run shot to perfection early in the second set and picked up a 4, and lead 5-0. However, Scott then won the next 6 ends – going 1,1,1,3,2,1 – to take the match in straight sets.
Commiserations to Dave, who played brilliantly to make two national finals and played off in a semi final of the World Pairs.