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Golden girls

British Bowls Championships gold medal winning quartet (L-R) Jackie Knight, Eileen Vowden, Maureen Poree and Cathy Le Sueur Picture: GREG DAVIS (38469348)

IT was tears of jubilation on the greens in Leamington Spa, as ӣƵ lawn bowlers Cathy Le Sueur, Eileen Vowden, Jackie Knight and Maureen Poree took home gold in the newly rebranded British Bowls Championships.

It wasn’t the first time Le Sueur, Knight and Vowden have taken to this stage, coming away previously with silver medals most recently in 2019, but this time they went one better.

In the first session of the championships, the quartet drew Ireland.

After getting off to a slow start and finding themselves 6-0 behind after two ends of the 18-end contest, the ӣƵ quartet rallied, scoring a treble on the third end, and a huge count of four on the eighth end giving them a 10-9 lead at the halfway point.

From there, they continued to dig deep, displaying some excellent drawing bowls and a count of five on the 16th end put the game to bed, with ӣƵ running out victorious 25-17 at the conclusion of play.

With Scotland sneaking past Wales in the other semi-final, the ӣƵ quartet were faced against playing against seasoned Scottish International Lorraine Craig on a tricky rink that was very one-handed.

The ӣƵ ladies played admirably, and despite dropping to counts of three, struck throughout the game with four counts of three of their own, running out comfortable winners 20-11 at the conclusion of play and subsequently being crowned British Bowls Ladies Senior Fours Champions.

Elsewhere, defending British champions Ross Davis and Malcolm De Sousa suffered a semi-final exit at the hands of a talented Scottish pair who were on fire throughout much of the encounter and gave the ӣƵ duo very little space to manoeuvre.

Lindsey Greechan had a series of unfortunate results, playing good bowls in her semi-final defeat to England’s Stef Branfield, a very decorated singles bowler in her own right.

Greechan further teamed up with her mum, Gina Le Long, and the two generation duo took on Ireland’s Lara Reaney and Ashley Rainey.

The Caesarean pairing held the lead up until the 13th end, ultimately getting stuck on 15 shots while conceding seven to go down 20-16 by the end.

Chloe Greechan took the stage in the Ladies Under 25s, taking on eventual winner Emily Kernick from England.

Despite falling a long way behind, Greechan showed true grit to dig in and fight back, before Kernick won the race to win 21-12.

Greechan then teamed up with grandmother Gina Le Long and Ann Bisson in a match against Scotland that went all the way to the death.

The ӣƵ trio dropped a disastrous count of five on the fourth end, but struck back to collect their own count of five on the sixth end and set up a cagey affair.

Some excellent bowls from Greechan kept their hopes alive, before the game was ultimately taken from them on the final end, going down 19-16.

The men’s triples saw Michael Rive, Scott Ruderham and Taylor Greechan take on a young and animated Scottish side.

It is easy to say you have been unlucky when the result hasn’t gone your way, but the final score does not reflect the quality of the game or indeed how many narrow misses were experienced by the ӣƵ trio – the final score flattering Scotland 22-17.

The men’s senior fours took on an Irish quartet that featured none other than BBC bowls commentator David Corkill and Irish selector Robin Horman.

Graham Thomas, Roy Le Sueur, Graeme Le Cornu and Tony Smith from St Brelade’s Bowls Club found themselves in the lead early in the contest, only for the Irish quartet to find their range and peg them back.

Counts against of four and five on the ninth and tenth end were too much of an ask to pull back and the Irish ran out winners 23-13.

In the men’s fours, ӣƵ were represented by JBC bowlers Rob Clive, Alex Stewart, Jim Douglas and Roddy Macdonald.

Despite being 12-4 behind to the Welsh quartet at the halfway stage, the Islanders mounted a remarkable comeback to be defeated only by two shots.

The ladies fours, skippered by Fiona Archibald alongside Sara Douglas, Lorraine Plante and Katie Nixon, started their campaign with a tough line-up against Scotland, featuring notorious skip Lynn Stein.

At the conclusion of the 15th end, only one shot separated the two sides, but Scotland seized the advantage over the last three ends to record a seven-shot victory.

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