The 2023/24 Open Fours had a very exciting start with two excellent games.  One side got home with a single short margin while the other match was decided by three shots.  As well as being very close, the two games followed a very similar pattern.  In both games one side had the better start before their opponents climbed back into the match with a crucial big scoring end.  From this point both games were very close.  As the final ends approached the eventual winners had a very important end that was key to the final result.

Peter Macdonald, Di Fletcher, Denise Lidbury and Irene Macdonald had the better start in their game with Geoff Lee, Dennis Gallacher, Jonathan Green and Doug Williams.  By the sixth end they led 8 – 4.  The seventh end changed the game!  Williams picked up 7 shots and followed this up with shots on the next two ends to move to a 13 – 8 advantage.

Doug Williams and Jonathan Green fought hard in their game

Macdonald’s side steadied and won the next four ends to draw level on 13 all.  The lead fluctuated until team Macdonald took a major step to victory when they picked up 5 shots on the nineteenth end giving them a 21 – 17 lead.  Williams’ team fought back strongly winning both of the last two ends but didn’t manage to score enough shots to turn the result around.  Macdonald won the game 21 – 20.

Irene Macdonald led her side well

Jim Macklan, John Wagstaff, Sue Fahey and John Fahey had a good start against Mick Challice, Di Challice, Margaret Downey and Ray Downey and hard a strong 9 – 3 lead after nine ends.  However, Downey’s side managed to score 7 shots on the tenth end to get back into the game.  Fahey struck back to take the lead at 14 – 11 after twelve ends before Downey’s side won four ends in a row to move to a lead of 17 -14 after 16 ends.

John and Sue Fahey

The eighteenth end proved to be critical.  Fahey’s side combined well to dominate the head and when the skips crossed to play their bowls Fahey had 5 shots.  Fahey played safe with his first bowl but Downey was able to bowl a resting toucher to give his team the advantage.  Fahey then attacked the head and was able to move the jack so that his side had once again grabbed the shot.  Not to be outdone, Downey was again able to draw the shot and give his side some breathing space – there had been a 6 shot turn around in the end!

Di and Mick Challice played key bowls in the final ends

The last three ends were very tense as only 2 shots separated the teams.  This was one shot when Fahey scored a shot on the nineteenth end.  Downey’s side prevailed by winning the last two ends by a single shot to see them to a 20 – 17 victory.