Aussie bowler in never-before-seen moment at Commonwealth Games

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·Sports Reporter
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Ellen Ryan is pictured with her gold medal on the left, and celebrating with teammates on the right.
Ellen Ryan has become Australia's first bowler to win Commonwealth Games gold on British soil, after triumphing in the women's singles. Pictures: Getty Images/Channel 7

Australian star Ellen Ryan has secured the first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal in bowls to be won on British soil after triumphing in the women's singles.

Despite frequently dominating the Commonwealth Games over the years, no Australian bowler had ever managed to come out on top in Britain until the 25-year-old's victory over Guernsey's Lucy Beere.

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Ryan's entry into the history books came at the cost of Beere's own, with the bowler from the small island in the English Channel also hoping to score her country's first Commonwealth Games gold in any sport since 1990.

Beere had the upper hand early, forcing Ryan to fight back multiple times from 6-0, 10-2 and then 16-12 down to eventually prevail 21-17.

It was a hugely emotional victory not just for Ryan, but the rest of the Australian bowls team.

Jackaroos teammate and mentor Karen Murphy, who has been dubbed the 'Queen of the Green' in the bowls world, was thrilled for her younger charge.

Ryan had accomplished what Murphy had been unable to do in five Commonwealth Games appearances, but the two-time world champion cared little for her own success and rushed to embrace Ryan after her win.

Beere's silver was the 65,000-strong Channel Islands nation's first medal of any kind since 1994.

"I've got pairs tomorrow with my best friend Kristina (Krstic) and that was the one I was always dreaming about, winning pairs gold," Ryan told AAP.

"So I won't believe it for a while, but I'll have to have a couple of soda waters tonight.

"And having Karen here, you can't get much better than that.

"It'd be great to get some younger ones involved (in the sport). Hopefully I can show that it is a sport for young people."

Aussie bowler Ellen Ryan creates history at Commonwealth Games

Beaten 21-11 in the group stages by the 40-year-old Beere, Ryan was under the pump early.

But the 25-year-old had toughed it out to make the final and was happy to grit her teeth again, rallying despite regular brilliance from the favourite.

Hoping to scatter Ryan's bowls, Beere somehow threaded a powerful drive through all the traffic in a crucial moment to close the 20th end.

Ryan earned three to surge ahead by one shot, a lead that was extended twice more to build a three-shot buffer she was able to defend in a tense final end.

"You're absolutely gracious and I wish you so much luck in the future because you are the future," an emotional Beere said to Ryan on the rink.

"I've got to play the pairs at half eight but if anyone has a little shot or something they want to fling me over I'm quite happy with that."

Australia's Ellen Ryan triumphed in the bowls women's singles, ahead of Guernsey's Lucy Beere and Malaysia's Siti Zalina. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/2022 Getty Images)
Australia's Ellen Ryan triumphed in the bowls women's singles, ahead of Guernsey's Lucy Beere and Malaysia's Siti Zalina. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/2022 Getty Images)

Earlier Australia's men's triples team fell agonisingly short of one of the great lawn bowls comebacks, denied gold in a 14-12 loss to England.

Veteran Barrie Lester and debutants Carl Healey and Ben Twist were trailing 12-1 but clawed back to 12-12 and then watching England's skip Jamie Chestney produce back-to-back clutch bowls to prevail.

It was Lester's fourth Games medal, putting him level with Murphy and Nathan Rice on top of the country's lawn bowls medal winner list.

They will return as part of the men's fours.

Cheryl Lindfield, Australia's most senior athlete at 63, qualified for Wednesday's women's para pairs gold medal match with Serena Bonnell.

With AAP

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