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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

BOWLS ENGLAND SELECTS COUNTY PLAYER FOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Well done Rebecca Wigfield, Desborough Town BC on your selection to represent England in the European Championships
Bowls England has named its four representatives to participate in the European Championships at Les Creux BC, Jersey, from Saturday 23rd to Friday 29th September 2017 inclusive.

Rebecca Wigfield (Northamptonshire), Jamie-Lea Winch (Leicestershire), John McGuinness (Buckinghamshire) and Chris Yeomans (Northumberland) will participate in the bi-annual event.

Rebecca enjoyed success at last year’s National Championships, most notably winning the National Champion of Champions title, whilst Winch was an integral part of the Leicestershire Walker Cup winning side. Both players were part of the Women's Four that won the silver medal at the 2016 World Bowls Championships in New Zealand. McGuinness has been a regular in the Men’s Senior International team for the best part of a decade, whilst Yeomans has represented his country in the BIBC International Series at both Junior and Senior level.

The four will be aiming to emulate the success of England’s team in Israel in 2015.

BOWLS ENGLAND NAMES JUNIOR INTERNATIONAL TEAMS

Bowls England has announced the England Junior International teams for each gender, and a County player features in both selections:

Katie Smith, Desborough Town BC is selected for the England Junior Women’s team to play in the British Isles Women’s Bowls Council International Series, which is to be held at City of Derry BC, Londonderry, Ireland, on Saturday 22nd and Sunday, 23rd July, 2017.

She will play at No. 3 in a rink skipped by regular International Laura Holden of Somerset, and they will have with them Devon Cooper at Lead and Rachel Tremlett, at No. 2, both of them from Hertfordshire.

Connor Cinato, Kettering Midland Band BC is selected for the England Junior Men’s Team to play in the British Isles Bowls Council International Series, which is to be held at Llandrindod BC, Wales, on Saturday 9th & Sunday, 10th September, 2017.

Connor will skip a rink and will have with him at Lead Louis McCubbin of Hampshire, at No. 2 Edward Elmore of Huntingdonshire, and at No. 3, earning his first International cap, Charlie Butcher of Essex.

We congratulate them on their selection, and wish them well when the time comes to play for their country.

WORLD BOWLS CHAMPIONSHIPS – PROGRESS OF COUNTY PLAYERS

GREAT NEWS FOR ENGLAND AND OUR COUNTY PLAYERS – A GOLD MEDAL AND A SILVER MEDAL.

The World Bowls Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand started on the 29th November, with the Women’s Singles, Women’s Fours, Men’s Pairs and Men’s Triples, 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:

SINGLES: Sophie Tolchard of Devon, did not have a successful tournament at all, only winning 2 matches out of 9 played. The wins for her were against Teokotai Jim of Cook Island, who she beat 21-11 shots and Carmen Anderson of Norfolk Island, who she beat 21-12 shots. Otherwise she lost to the representatives of Brunei, Ireland, Malaysia, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

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 these Group stage matches they beat the USA 29-13 shots, Scotland 22-16 shots, Spain 22-8 shots, Turkey 32-3 shots, Norfolk Island 31-15 shots, Philippines 16-15 shots, Malaysia 17-10 shots, Japan 23-17 shots & Israel 14-13 shots.
In the Semi-Final they met the Philippines rink again, comprising Hazel Jagonoy, Ronalyn
Greenlees, Sonia Bruce & Rosita Bradborn, and they beat them 18-15 shots to proceed to the Final
In the Final played at 8.0 p.m. 2.12.16 (GMT) at the Burnside BC, they met Australia represented by Kelsey Cottrell, Carla Krizanic, Rebecca Van Asch & Natasha Scott for the Gold medal.

This match started pretty evenly, with both rinks playing well, and although the first half showed Australia ahead by 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 on those 2 ends.

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.

Men’s Events:

PAIRS: Louis Rideout & Sam Tolchard, both Devon, had a pretty successful campaign, especially in the Group Stage, where they won 7 of the 9 matches, losing just to South Africa and Australia, but by winning the other 7 matches they were in 2nd place in their Group. This put them in what is known as an ‘Elimination’ Final for qualification to the Semi-Finals, and here they met the Ireland pairing of Gary Kelly & Ian McClure, and lost that match 10-17 shots.

TRIPLES: Jamie Walker, Northampton West End BC, Andrew Knapper (Berkshire), & Robert Paxton (Somerset) had a brilliant championship. In this 2 bowls per player Triples 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 6shots 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.

MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS & INTERNATIONAL SERIES – COUNTY MEN INVOLVED

BRITISH ISLES CHAMPIONSHIPS

These are the various disciplines between the Champions of the participating countries, and this year the County had two National Champions taking part in the Championships being held at Belmont BC, Belfast, Northern Ireland, from the 28th June, through to the 2nd July, 2017:

JUNIOR SINGLES

Jamie Walker, Northampton West End BC, was the winner of the Junior Singles title at the Bowls England National Championships played at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa last year.

SEMI-FINAL – played in the afternoon of Thursday, 29th June, 2017.

Jamie beat Gordon White of Scotland, who was the winner of Preliminary match 2, very comfortably 21-7 shots.
The match, which was concluded in 17 ends of play, started very well for Jamie as he posted 6 shots in the first 3 ends, and by 10 ends played he was in front 17-3 shots with the winning post in sight. Although his opponent did manage to get 4 more shots on the board, Jamie wrapped it up comfortably and awaited his opponent for the Final.

FINAL – played on the morning of Friday, 30th June, 2017.

Jamie Walker, Northampton West End BC beat Daniel Salmon, Wales 21-10 shots so Jamie is the British Isles Junior Singles Champion.

The match started off evenly against Daniel, who beat Steven Shields of Ireland, 21-14 shots in a slightly longer match of 21 ends in his semi-final, with the scores at 2 shots each after 3 ends. Jamie then put the pressure on over the next 5 ends and created a lead of 9-2 shots, and after 12 ends of play he was 12-4 shots up.
Daniel threatened a comeback over the next few ends and he reduced the deficit to just 3 shots at 10-13 down after 17 ends of play, but from then on Jamie was determined and dominant as he took the 8 shots he needed for victory in the next 4 ends.

Well done Jamie – another major title – your County is very proud of you.

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