Bowls Pair into Gold Medal Match

July 28, 2014

With the rain beating down on Kelvingrove this morning World Champions Alex Marshall and Paul Foster stunned England’s Sam Tolchard and Andy Knapper in the Pairs semi-finals after picking up the decisive two points with the final two bowls to win 16-15.
The Scots had been 10-4 down before moving 14-13 ahead. Then they found themselves 15-14 behind after England collected two in the penultimate end.
With England on a one point advantage in the final end, with two of the bowls evenly spaced a foot in front of and behind the jack, Marshall delivered two perfect draws to win the game by a single point.
“That’s the best two bowls I’ve ever seen in my life – absolutely fantastic,” said Foster.
“There was a lot of pressure on Alex but he nosed it with his second bowl and Sam just failed. Then I said to Alex, ‘if there’s any man in the world who can draw this then you can.’ He said, ‘I’ll draw this’ and he did.”
Marshall was delighted with the win, saying:
“Without a doubt that was the best end I’ve ever played. Drawing two balls within four inches of the jack, I had almost a front toucher and a back toucher. To win it in a semi-final, when I went up with a game against me, is very pleasing.
“When you are playing against the Auld enemy there’s only one thing you are going to do and that’s celebrate. We are in the final and there’s room for improvement and we are looking forward to it.”
Scotland’s win lines them up against Malaysia in tomorrow’s final.
“Malaysia are one of the most improved bowling nations in the world and we are under no illusions, it’s going to be another hard game,” continued Marshall.
“But I’m quietly confident, if we both play the way we know we can play, we will win.”
What helped the pair today, and what will help them again tomorrow, is the support of the Scottish crowd.
“The home support is like an extra shot,” said Foster. “To play a Games in your home country is unbelievable and the crowd has been fantastic.
“Today they showed the spirit they had which gave us a wee extra boost. We want to put a good performance in for them as well.”
There was further drama in the Women’s Fours competition with Scotland, skipped by Margaret Letham, missing out on Bronze to New Zealand 21-15.
The game had been tight and entertaining throughout and, when all seemed to be going New Zealand’s way at 16-9, the Scots came back impressively bring the score to 15-16 for the final end.
The Scots got ahead and, with just a bowl apiece to play, they were holding ‘match up’. But New Zealand’s Mandy Boyd threw a spectacular all or nothing drive on a one bowl target.
Superbly executed it pushed the jack and two Scotland bowls into the ditch turning a deficit into a five shot end.
“We had great hopes to get the bronze there but the New Zealanders got a lot of rubs that went their way, so no complaints,” said a disappointed Letham.
“We tried our best out there but it wasn’t to be today. Sometimes you begin to think it’s not going to be your day, because every time she hit the head she got maximum results and we were left struggling to get our own to the white.
“But we start again tomorrow in the Pairs and Triples and we will pick ourselves up for that. Early night tonight and we’ll get up fresh tomorrow.”

Photo Credit:Patrick Hulbert

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