Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Women's four secure New Zealand's first bowls medal with bronze

After seeing their gold-medal hopes dashed in cruel fashion, the Kiwi women's four have grabbed New Zealand's first bowls medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Pipped by India in the last end of their semi-final, the quartet of Selina Goddard, Nicole Toomey, Tayla Bruce and veteran Val Smith had to regroup for their bronze-medal playoff against Fiji, and have duly prevailed with a runaway 17-6 victory.

The foursome trailled 4-0 early, but swept into the lead with four shots on the fifth end and were never headed again.

Selina Goddard in action against Fiji
Selina Goddard in action against Fiji. Photo credit: Photosport

The Fijians, who lost their semi-final to South Africa in almost identical fashion to the Kiwis, closed to 7-6 after eight ends, but New Zealand took the next 10 shots to assume total control of the contest.

In her fifth Games, Smith, 57, repeated her fours bronze from Glasgow 2014, adding to the singles silver from Delhi 2010. She drew a shot on the penultimate end that put the margin beyond 10 shots and unreachable for their Pacific rivals.

"Just unreal," sobbed Bruce. "I'm quite overwhelmed with emotion right now, to be honest."

"I'm very proud," said Smith. "They maybe young, but I knew they were capable.

"It's been said, we came here as friends, we've developed that over the past couple of years - especially the last 12 months - and we knew that would be our strength."

New Zealand have another bronze-medal chance at Victoria Park on Wednesday morning (NZ time), when the para men's pair of Graham Skellern and Mark Noble take on England.