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News Team Henselite Ellen Ryan wins Australian Open
June 29, 2015

Cabramatta's 18 year old Ellen Ryan became the latest in a long list of Team Henselite Australian Open Singles Champions when she took out the 2015 final at Broadbeach BC over Milmerran's Maree Gibbs.

"I actually wasn’t going to enter because it was 2 weeks off school and I'm in year 12 at the moment and I didn’t want to miss that." said Ellen. "But Lynsey (Clarke) asked me to play with them (Natasha Scott and Rebecca Van Asch) in the fours and I couldn't turn that down. So I thought I'd just play the fours. But then my friend from NSW, Maddison, wanted me to play pairs with her and kept bugging me till I said 'yes.' So once I entered those two I thought I might as well play singles!"

"To win it was pretty incredible. It's the best achievement I have had. It was pretty amazing."

In an Open tournament without seeding you might think an easy run could be possible. But Ellen did it the hard way facing some really stiff opposition throughout such as WA bowler of the year Noelene Abe, former finalist Samantha Shanahan and Malaysian superstar and Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Siti Zalina Ahmed.

"My most difficult opponent was the Malaysian, Siti Zalina Ahmed. Just knowing what she had won scared me off," said Ellen. "I am usually pretty good under pressure, though, so I ignored it and thought to myself 'I am capable to play the shots.' Natasha Scott was a big help, she was there and gave me pointers on shots to play."

"Then in the semi final I had to play Sam Shanahan and that was always going to be a hard too."

"I didn’t think about winning the title at any point, I just kept thinking I just have to get past this one.

The final was televised and being her first experience of playing in a televised game, Ellen had to overcome a bout of nerves beforehand. " I was eating breakfast across the road and I saw the camera man with the boom camera and it started freaking me out! Once I got started I got off to a good start so I didn’t notice then so much."

In the final Ellen came up against Queensland's Maree Gibbs. "I hadn't played her before so I didn’t know what she was capable of." she said. But a lack of knowledge of her opponent was no barrier to Ellen who jumped out of the blocks with a 6-0 head start. At 11-1 she had to endure a fightback from Maree who clawed her way back into the game but Ellen remained focussed and finished the job with a 21-10 win. 

"I used Dreamline XG. They were really good, even when it was a bit windy they held their line well or when I wanted them to turn they did that."

Following the most significant win so far, Ellen was named in the Australian Jackaroos squad on Monday. A huge achievement for the year 12 student who will return to her home town of Goulborn to finish her studies. "My aim now is to finish school this year. then next year I might have a gap year," she said. And hopefully we will be seeing a lot more of this young superstar on the bowls green.
 

Pictured:

Top RIght, Ellen Ryan (left) with Maree Gibbs (right).

Above, Ellen in action during the Australian Open.

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Ellen Ryan wins Australian Open