Karen Murphy Wins Women’s CoC Singles
Karen Murphy is no stranger to success. You simply need to take a look through the honour rolls to find her name littered across every discipline, and the Champion of Champion Singles is no exception.
It’s been ten years since she last won the event in 2012, but age has proven to be no barrier for Murphy as she overcame two young and class opponents in Sarah Boddington (Tuncurry Beach) and Dawn Hayman (St Johns Park) to win the title.
Murphy’s semi-final clash with Sarah Boddington will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest matches seen on the live stream, with the two trading blows in a thrilling contest. Murphy jumped out to a 7-0 lead only to have Boddington respond with a string of ends to narrow the gap to 7-6. From there the two exchanged leads multiple times, refusing to give an inch with an impeccable display of draw bowling. Crucial multiples at the late stage of the match catapulted Murphy to a 24-16 lead, with many thinking she had one foot in the final.
Boddington had other ideas. She went on a run of her own to score eight unanswered shots and level the scores 24-24, leaving the match delicately poised in what was effectively a one end shootout. The end didn’t disappoint, with players peppering the jack. Boddington held two as Murphy played her third bowl, a firm runner on the forehand that took out four bowls to leave Murphy holding one. Boddington just fell short with her last to hand Murphy a decisive 25-24 victory.
Waiting for Murphy in the final was Dawn Hayman (St Johns Park) who herself enjoyed a solid 25-16 win over the ever-consistent Claire Kelly (Forster). Leading 24-9, Hayman was in cruise control, drawing shots with ease. Kelly was doing well to keep pace with the two-time defending champion, but couldn’t quite gain the ascendancy. A true fighter, Kelly made Hayman earn that spot in the final as she scored seven unanswered shots to bring the score to 24-16 and putting some pressure on Hayman in the process. It all proved to be just a step too far however as Hayman picked up the required shot to win 25-16.
In the final, both Murphy and Hayman picked up where they left off in the semi-finals. From start to finish, it was an absolute masterclass of bowling from both players who put on a show for the Port City crowd. In similar fashion to her semi-final, Murphy led Hayman 20-9 at one stage and looked to be on track for a convincing win, only to have Hayman claw her way back into the match through some brilliant play.
She outscored Murphy 10-1 to trail 21-19 and was looking in great touch. Where others may have faltered, Murphy showed incredible mental strength and resilience to win an end and change lengths, thereby putting a halt on Hayman’s comeback. At 22-19, Murphy produced arguably her best end, drawing three bowls within inches of the jack and leaving Hayman with a difficult shot to play with her last. Swinging on the backhand, Hayman made contact with the jack, but it proved to be in vain as it nestled within Murphy’s cluster of bowls leaving her with the required three shots to take the match and the title of NSW Women’s Champion of Champion Singles winner.
Congratulations to Karen Murphy and Dawn Hayman on an incredible match worthy of a final, and to all the competitors who took part in the event.
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