FORMER Shoalhaven Heads bowler Karen Murphy has ended her international career on a high, after guiding the Jackaroos to victory at the inaugural World Bowls Challenge.
Held at the Moama Bowling Club, Murphy's team of Barrie Lester (Queensland), Aron Sherriff (Queensland), Aaron Teys (NSW), Corey Wedlock (NSW), Aaron Wilson (NSW), Kelsey Cottrell (Queensland), Ellen Ryan (NSW), Natasha Scott (NSW) and Bec Van Asch (Tasmania) took on a Rest of the World squad over a two-day tournament.
On the opening day, Murphy and her women's pairs partner Van Asch went down to Katherine Rednall (England) and Ellen Falkner (England) 5-2 8-1.
Despite this, the hosts held a lead going into day two; Australia eight points, eight sets, plus eight shots to Rest of the World six, six, minus eight.
A different Rest of the World team showed up to start day two, seeing the Aussies fall behind by eight match points after the opening two sessions.
But the Jackaroos responded to scored 14-2 in the four singles matches of round three - taking the clash into the round four final two singles rubbers, pitting Scotland's six-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Alex Marshall and New Zealand's Jo Edwards against green and gold legends Aaron Wilson and Murphy.
Australia held a four-point buffer going into the epilogue, which Marshall erased with his 10-1 4-1 victory over the game Wilson, while Edwards banked a 5-3 first set win against the Bomaderry High School alumna - with more than 650 caps to her name - to put victory in sight.
But Murphy, 44, was having none of it when she dug deep to find every ounce of magic left to garner a 6-1 second set win to tie the rubber and ultimately the match.
Then, when the dust settled and the dealing was done, the Jackaroos, who recently won the Multi-Nations tournament against New Zealand, were declared winners by the narrowest of margins - one set out of 44 completed - while they finished two shots in arrears overall to the Rest of the World side.
This victory (32 points, 22.5 sets, minus two shots to 32 points, 21.5 sets, plus two shots) marked the conclusion of Murphy's glittering 23-year career in the green and gold - which includes a Commonwealth Games gold medal and a four World Championship gold medals.