Day 1 – Sunday 19th January
Welcome to my first blog of the week at the World Indoor Bowls Championships at the Potters Leisure Resort.
It was changeover day for us officials with Dan Bluett and Francis Fletcher, returning home after a busy week whilst myself and Mike Davies arrived for the final week of the championships.
The first game this morning was between Danny Denison and Simon Skelton with Mike on the rink marking and I was umpiring. It was an uneventful game for the officials and I was not called on for any decisions. Danny finished the match after a close tie break just pippin Simon at the end.
The match was followed by a Q&A session in the Terrace bar. These are always an interesting feature as you are never quite sure what sort of tough questions the panel will end up being asked.
Myself, Richard Maddison, CEO of WBT and Julie Forrest from Scotland faced a barrage of interesting questions from an interested audience.
After a quick lunch, Bryan and I returned to the rink for a camera rehearsal for tomorrow’s Mixed Pairs Final. The BBC have rigged their cameras and we are ready to start live broadcast from Monday. The camera rehearsal is to help the producers figure out the best cameras to use to cover the presentation. Us officials usually act as the winner and runner up – probably the only time we are going to win something this big – that’s why we are officials and not players.
The two Mixed Pairs Matchplay semi-finals commenced at 2pm. I marked the first one between David Gourlay and Eleanor Gass and the reigning champions Paul Foster and Laura Thomas. Again it was an uneventful game for me and Bryan. Paul and Laura won both sets to progress to the final for the second consecutive year. The following game was between Greg Harlow and Janice Gower, Andy Thomson and the talented teenager Kathyrn Rednall. Bryan and I switched rolls and I was only troubled with a straight forward 2 bowl box measure. It was a great game which went to the wire but Thomson and Rednall finally triumphed to meet the reigning champions in the final.
No game this evening so it’s time to relax before dinner and then maybe a show and a couple of beers.
Back tomorrow with the highlight of the day being the Men’s Pairs final.