Journalist for the i newspaper, Bowls England National Finals commentator and a name well-known to bowlers, Emily Ferguson will be reviewing most days of the action at Victoria Park.
England’s Men’s Triples, consisting of Louis Ridout, Nick Brett and Jamie Chestney, had a very tight battle in their first game against Malaysia on Friday morning. The score line remained incredibly tight throughout the whole of the match, with both sides tying on 8 shots at 10 ends. The tussle continued right to the end, with the scores all level going into the last end. But England managed to just edge over the line and take the win, finishing on 13-12.
The England Triples were up against it again in their second game against South Africa, but the trio were able to keep things tight and were just one shot behind at five ends. South Africa appeared to be edging away from them until Chestney was able to convert the head and enable the team to pick up five shots, bringing it to 12 all after 12 ends. They then took the lead for the first time on the 13th end after picking up a single shot. Another great couple of ends saw England take the lead further with 19-12 after 15 ends before finishing on 22-14.
Craig Bowler and Kieren Rollings recorded a loss against Scotland in their opening match of the Para Men’s Pairs B6-B8. The high scoring game saw their opponents gain an early lead with 9 shots to 1 after 4 ends. But the England duo pick up a 2 and a 5 on the bounce to claw it back to 9-8. They were unable to continue their winning streak however, and ended on 23-12. Bowler and Rollings reversed their fortunes in their second game against New Zealand in the afternoon, winning 19-11. The pair were supported in the crowd by Denise Lewis OBE, which drove them on to victory.
In her first round of the Women’s Singles, Amy Pharaoh saw an early defeat to Malaysia’s Siti Zalina. The game started close, with both players picking up mainly single shots. But after keeping it tight and remaining close behind her opponent, unfortunately Pharaoh was unable to claw it back from a 14-11 deficit and lost the next four ends to finish on 21-11.
Another tight game was seen on C green this morning in the Para Women’s Pairs B6-B8. Michelle White and Gill Platt had a slow start and were 8-1 down after four ends. But the duo soon upped their game against the South African side, picking up counts to come within just one shot at eight ends. This wasn’t enough to secure the win however, and the pair ended up losing 17-13. Their second game against New Zealand was another tight game but like their colleagues in the Para Men’s Pairs, they managed to secure a win with a 12-10 victory. The pair were delighted with their win.
The afternoon session saw the Women’s Fours take to the greens for the first time and the team, skipped by Kent’s Sian Honnor, recorded an impressive first win against India, winning 18-9. Honnor’s rink, joined by Sophie Tolchard, Jamie-Lea Winch and Natalie Chestney, secured a second great win against Canada, winning 23-16. Despite losing a four on the first end, the team stayed in control throughout and at the halfway point they managed to pick up two five’s on the bounce.
Jamie Walker and Sam Tolchard got off to an excellent start in the their first game of the Men’s Pairs with a convincing 21-10 win against Malaysia. Their victory meant that England won all 5 matches post lunch on Day One of the Games, and sets the tone fantastically well for another packed day of action tomorrow.
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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.