Commonwealth Games:Jersey ladies power on in bowls arena

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Gaynor Thomas and Suzie Dingle claimed the day’s biggest prize, taking the scalp of New Zealand’s hotly-tipped Khan sisters, Jan and Marina, in the women’s pairs, while Derek Boswell and Gus McKinnon scored an exciting win over Fiji.

Ironically, Boswell and McKinnon, who are electricians, were halfway through their best-of-three-ends tiebreak with the Fijians when the lights went out.

‘Is there an electrician in the house?,’ some bright spark dared to ask, to which McKinnon replied, ‘Like all electricians, we play much better in the dark!’ Fortunately, the sun had not quite set, and it was still possible to see the other end of the green, so, while other matches that had just begun were interrupted, the Jersey duo were able to complete the two ends that remained.

On the third end of the tiebreak, Boswell drew close to the jack and set up a good position, and Jersey supporters cheered loudly when McKinnon added an even closer shot that the Fiji skip, who had done a lot of damage, could not beat.

In a fascinating encounter, Jersey scored a single to break a 6-6 deadlock to win the first set, but were forced into a tiebreak when the Fijians won the second, 8-5.

‘There was even an incident in the second set when my hat fell off and moved the jack, and it probably cost us a shot,’ said McKinnon.

‘It was just as well we won in the end, or I might have looked back and blamed myself.’ Thomas and Dingle, who are thoroughly enjoying themselves, were in fine form this morning, as they defeated the Khan sisters, who are the daughters of the legendary Kiwi Millie Khan, the Maori from Matamata.

Remarkably, the New Zealanders scored three trebles in the first set, but the Jersey duo piled up ten shots over the other six ends to win the set, 10-9, claiming the spoils with a double on the ninth end.

They ran away with it in the second set, racing into a 8-1 lead after seven ends, and were glad to avoid the tension of a tiebreak as they returned an impressive 10-9, 9-3 card.

Sometimes a big win is followed by a fall from grace, but Thomas and Dingle managed to add a handsome 9-4, 10-2 win over Maureen Payne and Pauline Kelly, who had themselves toppled the Kiwis in the first round.

Chris Grimes, Gean O’Neil and Gina Le Long admitted they were outplayed by Norfolk Island in the women’s triples this morning, but played well against Canada after lunch, when they lost a game they deserved to win.

‘I don’t mind losing when I’ve played badly,’ said Le Long.

‘But we were clearly the better team, and should have won.

In fact we scored 24 shots to their 15 over the two sets, so I feel like kicking the cat!’ The Canadians’ 4-14, 11-10, 2-1 victory underlined a feeling among the players that the best-of-two-sets format, which us supposed to be dramatic and exciting is, in fact, cruel and unfair.

Alan Shaw, John Lowery and Lee Nixon were disappointed with their narrow defeat at the hands of the Norfolk Islanders, because after defeating Scotland yesterday they were in with a chance of a place in the quarter-finals of the men’s triples.

They were lined up to play England tonight, assuming power would be restored, while the women’s triple were going head to head with New Zealand, and the women’s pair were playing Niue – a new country to bowls at this level.

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