Tuesday 21st January
The ladies pairs challenge certainly lived up to all expectations last night. Top quality bowls from all four ladies. In the end it was Rebecca Field and talented teenager Kathryn Rednall who triumphed.
The usual routine this morning, breakfast at 8:15 and preparation for the first game of the day between Robert Paxton and Jason Greenslade. I was marking this match with Bryan Daly umpire and Sandra Mcleish on the shot clock.
It was a packed house as well which added a great atmosphere to an entertaining match. There was a whole range of shots being played especially from Jason who always has an exciting swashbuckling style about his game. The game was a good one to mark. Jason consistently pushed the shot clock to the limits, often delivering his bowl with only 1 or 2 seconds remaining. Indeed one bowl he released just as the buzzer sounded. I was also required to help Bryan with a long ditch measure in the second set. The morning matches are broadcast live on the BBC red button so we do get a good days coverage.
|A packed house for the|
World Mixed Pairs this afternoon
This afternoon we had the final of the Mixed Pairs Matchplay with Paul Foster and Laura Thomas taking on Andy Thomson and Kathryn Rednall. It was a high quality game live on BBC2. Both girls played incredibly well and Kathryn in particular showed amazing maturity in her first live TV final. I am sure we are going to see a lot more of her in the years to come. Paul and Laura finally won the match.
It was another quick turn around like yesterday for the second game of the afternoon. The trial ends were underway whilst the photographs of the Mixed Pairs champions were still being taken at the end of the rink. We only had about 5 minutes to get the next game on the way.
Our MC, Richard Beare, does a fabulous job of introducing the players and warming up the crowd before the matches. Although not everyone is pleased to hear him sing!!, he does have a great voice and I have a lot of admiration for anyone that can just belt out a song in front of loads of people like he does on the rink. He is a great entertainer and keeps everybody smiling. Richard and us officials all get on brilliantly and have a good laugh both on and off the rink. Right that’s the tenner you owe me for that praise Richard!!
The second game of the afternoon was probably the best of the tournament so far. Mervyn King took on Nick Brett in a game full of super accurate draw bowls, perfect take out shots and accurate drives. It went all the way to a third end in the tie break. Mervyn just managed to score the final shot and moves into the Quarter-final to play the winner of this evenings game. The only minor issue during the game was a shot clock malfunction – I just couldn’t stop the countdown and the buzzer went off. It works using a radio signal from the handset to the two clocks at the end of the rink and we appeared to lose the signal.
I am umpiring the evening game between Les Gillett and Jonathan Ross and will report on that tomorrow. I will also do a little feature on the camera crew and the production side of things. It is ladies singles semi-final day tomorrow which will be a great standard of bowls.
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