Journalist for the i newspaper, Bowls England National Finals commentator and a name well-known to bowlers, Emily Ferguson will be previewing each day of the action at Victoria Park.
After years of preparation, Victoria Park will finally play host to the Commonwealth Games on Friday 29 July.
Bowls will be the first to start on Friday morning out of all of the 19 sports and eight para sports following the Opening Ceremony on Thursday evening. The first day of play will see the opening stages of the sectional play for the Men’s Triples, Women’s Singles, Para Men’s and Women’s Pairs B6-B8, Women’s Fours and Men’s Pairs.
The day will be split into morning and afternoon sessions, with two games in each. The first matches will start at 8:30am and 11:30am, followed by 3pm and 6pm.
Two games will be live streamed per session and they will either be streamed live on the BBC, accessible via the Red button, iPlayer or the BBC Sport website.
England’s Men’s Triples, consisting of Louis Ridout (Devon), Nick Brett (Huntingdonshire) and Jamey Chestney (Devon), will be kicking off the day by playing Malaysia at 8:30am and South Africa at 11:30am. Brett will be making his debut aged 47, while Ridout and Chestney will be vying to add to their existing medals. The trio’s second game against South Africa will be streamed.
Craig Bowler (Bedfordshire) will be making his debut with Kieran Rollings (Northamptonshire) in their first match of the Para Men’s Pairs B6-B8 against Scotland at 8:30am and will appear again at 3pm to play New Zealand. Rollings made his debut at the age of 18 at the Gold Coast in 2018. If you haven’t watched our recent piece with Craig looking back at his life, you can find it here.
In the Women’s Para B6-B8 pairs Michelle White (Kent) and Gill Platt (Surrey) will play South Africa in the final morning slot and again against New Zealand at 6pm. Both players will be making their debut, with White having only played bowls for five years. Platt is a bowls veteran, having been awarded lifetime membership by her county.
England’s Amy Pharaoh (Lincolnshire) will play her first singles game at 11:30am versus Siti Zalina from Malaysia. She is returning to the Games having competed in Manchester 2002, Melbourne 2006, Delhi 2010 and winning two bronzes and a gold. Pharoah, formerly Gowshall, took a hiatus from the elite level after having her son in 2013. Bowls England spent some time with Amy discussing her comeback, which you can watch here.
The Women’s Fours, consisting of Sophie Tolchard, Jamie-Lea Winch, Natalie Chestney and Sian Honnor, will take to the greens in the afternoon to play India on one of the show rinks being televised. They will play again at 6pm where they will face Canada. All four players have competed in at least two Games before and have amassed nine medals between them, including three golds.
These first rounds form part of the round robin stage of the competition and each of the teams will be hoping to gain as many wins and shots under their belts as possible. But even if they do lose their opening matches, the teams still stand a chance at progressing to the Quarter Finals.
Rinks 1 & 6 are the TV rinks throughout the Games. In the UK, the rights holders are the BBC, and they are showing over 200 hours of live sport across the next ten days, including 11 live streams via iPlayer and the BBC Sport website. Keep an eye on the Bowls England social media pages, in particular Twitter, as we will post where you can watch England games as soon as we know! England matches on TV rinks are in red below.
Men’s Triples Sectional Play: New Zealand (A. Kelly, M. Galloway, A Forsyth) vs. India (N. Singh, M. Borgohain, C.K. Singh)
Women’s Singles Sectional Play: New Zealand (Ellen Ryan) vs. Kenya (Eunice Wambui Mbugua)
Women’s Singles Sectional Play: Scotland (D. Hoggan) vs. Northern Ireland (S. O’Neill)
Men’s Triples Sectional Play: England (L. Ridout, N Brett, J.Chestney) vs South Africa (B. Robinson, P. Breitenbach, J. Evans)
Men’s Pairs Sectional Play: Wales (D. Salmon, J. Breen) vs Namibia (J.P. Fouche, C.A. Olivier)
Women’s Fours Sectional Play: India (L. Choubey, Pinki, N. Saikia, R.R. Tirkey) vs. England (S. Tolchard, J.L. Winch, N. Chestney, S. Honnor)
Men’s Pairs Sectional Play: New Zealand (T. Grantham, S. McIlroy) vs. Canada (J. Bezear, R. Bester)
Women’s Fours Sectional Play: South Africa (T. Muvhango, B. Calitz, E. Kruger, J. Snyman) vs. Wales (S. Nicholls, C. Taylor, Y. White, A. Butten)
You can find a full Team England Lawn Bowls & Para Lawn Bowls schedule by clicking here, or on the button below.
The Commonwealth Games is organised by Birmingham 2022, further information about the event can be found here. The Bowls England Team are currently busy ensuring that we maximise this golden opportunity for our sport. Please be aware that, during this period, we are operating a reduced phone and email service, and responses to queries maybe delayed.