While they had their gold medal hopes snatched away in the closing stages against a determined Malaysian team on Friday, lawn bowlers Nicolene Neal and Colleen Piketh closed out the SA squad’s campaign on the greens by stepping on the podium on day nine of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Already guaranteed a medal after reaching the playoff for gold, they were edged out 15-14, ultimately settling for silver.
Neal and Piketh, who had earned silver and bronze medals respectively in other divisions earlier in the week, wasted no time opening a 7-0 gap after just three ends.
However, the resilient Malaysian pairing of Emma Firyana Saroji and former Commonwealth Games singles champion Siti Zalina Ahmad began to chip away in an attempt to claw their way back into the game.
While the South Africans stayed in front, they were made to battle for every point, extending their advantage to 13-5 after 13 ends.
Rewarded for their consistency, Malaysia took four shots in the 15th end, and they went on to seal a one-shot victory in the 18-end contest.
The national bowls team finished their campaign with five medals, again making a valuable contribution to the SA squad’s overall standing.
Aside from pairs silver, they also took second position in the women’s fours and B2/B3 mixed pairs, as well as bronze in women’s singles and B6/B7/B8 open triples.