Gold and Silver for Northants Bowlers at World Champs
Posted: Mon, 05 Dec 2016 07:49
The World Bowls Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand started on the 29th November,and our two County members of the England Team have been in a very successful team, with Silver and Gold medals their reward.
Firstly the Women's events:
FOURS: Jamie-Lea Winch (Leicestershire), Rebecca Wigfield, Desborough Town BC, Wendy King (Kent) & Ellen Falkner (Cambridgeshire) had a very successful run of 9 matches in the Group Stage, having a 100% record of wins and consequently topping their Group.
In the Semi-Final they met the Philippines rink again, and they beat them 18-15 shots to proceed to the Final.
In the Final played at 8.00 p.m. 2.12.16 (GMT) at the Burnside BC, they met Australia for the Gold medal.
This match started pretty evenly, with both rinks playing well, and although the first half showed Australia ahead 11-2 shots at 9 ends played, that score did not reflect the true nature of the game at that stage. When England were sitting multiple shots on ends 1 & 7, the Aussie skip fired very accurately and sent the jack off the rink, which normally means the end is replayed, but in this Championship the jack is placed on the full length 'T' mark, and on both of these occasions the nearest bowls were Australian ones, and therefore from a possible 9 shots, which would have given England a decent lead, instead they dropped 3 shots.
Thereafter the England players seemed a bit dispirited and did not play to their potential whilst their opponents played very well, so Australia took the gold medal, winning 23-8 shots.
Nevertheless a very good achievement to take the Silver Medal.
TRIPLES: Jamie Walker, Northampton West End BC, Andrew Knapper (Berkshire), & Robert Paxton (Devon) had a brilliant championship. In this 2 bowls per playerTriples they had an excellent record in the Group Stage – playing 9 matches and losing just 1 of them, to head the Group and qualification for the Semi-Finals.
In that Group Stage they beat Spain 14-11 shots, Norfolk Island 23-13 shots, Scotland 18-13 shots, South Africa 21-10 shots, Japan 19-10 shots, Niue 31-8 shots, Fiji 16-13 shots, Zimbabwe 21-15 shots and the one loss was their last in this stage against Brunei, losing that 13-18 shots.
In the Semi-Final they beat the Japanese trio of Hank Sato, Ken Emura & Kenta Hasebe 18-9 shots
They met in the Final, played at 12mn 2.12.16. (GMT) at the Burnside BC, the Australian triple of Barrie Lester, Mark Casey & Aaron Sherriff, and what a close affair it turned out to be. England was trying to win the Triples crown for the first time since 1980, when Jimmy Hobday, Tony Allcock and David Bryant were champions in Melbourne, Australia, and this match was one of the best seen in a World Championship. They did it – and are World Triples Champions.
The match was extremely competitive from the start, with Australia keeping a small lead until England drew level 6 shots each on the 8th end, and then took a 3 shots lead on the 9th when the England skip, Robert Paxton, took out the Aussies' shot bowl. All the players were putting in some very good woods, and in particular our own County's Jamie Walker was very steady indeed and he had a great tussle with his Aussie counterpart.
The 13th end was certainly unlucky 13 for England, for they dropped a big count of 4 shots, the most on any end in the match, when none of the England players bowled it very well, and Robert was unlucky on a firing shot, when 4 down, to only remove one Australian bowl, leaving the Aussie skip to replace it, which he duly did. This put Australia back in front, but 2 ends later the scores were level at 12 shots each.
2 more ends and England got their noses in front 14-12 shots, and with the last end being played the Australian skip fired with his last bowl and he took England's 2nd bowl out and almost got the 3rd shot he needed for victory, but a measure showed that the match was tied up at 14 shots each, thus requiring an extra end.
England gave the jack to Australia to start and when the Aussie lead put his first bowl very close to the jack, Jamie was up for it and he bowled a brilliant wood to trail the jack and stay with it, making it very difficult to beat. That proved to be the case for, despite their best efforts, Australia could not shift Jamie's bowl, although going close, and the Gold Medal was England's, and they were the World Triples Champions.
What a tremendous honour for Jamie and his fellow England players, well done to them all.
To follow in the next few days will be the Men's Singles, played for England by Jamie Walker, the Women's Triples with Rebecca Wigfield in the middle, Jamie-Lea Winch leading and skipped by Wendy King, plus the Women's Pairing of Sophie Tolchard and Ellen Falkner, and the Men's Fours of Louis Ridout, Andrew Knapper, Robert Paxton & Sam Tolchard.
A reminder that the Finals of all of these can be viewed live by visiting the Bowls England website, and on the home page scroll down a little way and there you will find the 'livestream' link to click on. You may also watch all the other finals, including Rebecca & Jamie's efforts in the Women's Fours & Men's Triples, by following the same link. https://www.bowlsengland.com/