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Piketh and Botha bowl to Team SA’s 12th Games gold

By Mark Etheridge

And then there were 12! Team South Africa’s brilliant bowlers notched their seventh medal of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Friday.

And that took Team SA’s gold medal tally to 12, equalling the golds won in India four years ago and boosted the total gain in Glasgow to 37, four more than in New Delhi.

On this occasion it was the Pairs combination of Colleen Piketh and Tracy-Lee Botha to feel the golden glow as they beat England 20-17 in a nerve-jarring final.

So close was it that matters on the mat went down to an extra end after the scores were peeled 17-17 after the regulation 18 ends.

A coin was then tossed and said skip Piketh:  ‘We put them on the mat so we’d have the last bowl but as things turned out I didn’t need to play because Tracy-Lee was holding three and then Natalie Melmore missed her final shot and that was that.

‘We got off to a good start but then they got ahead again. We kept our cool though and Tracy-Lee put the pressure on from the front and Natalie was under pressure.’

Piketh will be a weary woman having played 15 games during the Games, the most of any South African bowler.

‘But it’s been great, the village was lovely and the whole camaraderie, both in the bowls squad and the Team SA set-up was brilliant.’

Botha went on to reveal that the final against England hadn’t been the most nerve-wracking of their fixtures.

‘The Scottish game was actually the toughest. We had to win to go through to the quarters. If we had lost that one we would have ended up with nothing so that was really the match that counted.’

The pairs gold mean that our bowlers have played a huge part in Team SA’s medal mania. Between them they won five golds (three able-bodied, two disability bowls) and two bronze medals for an overall tally of seven, compared to the three in India four years ago.


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