The remaining three quarter-finals of the Mixed Pairs Championship were played on Saturday with players challenged by windy conditions and a very quick green. Defending Champions, Denise and Bruce Lidbury sounded an ominous warning for the remainder of the competition with a big win over Margaret and Ray Downey.
From the very first end the Lidburys dominated the match with Denise in great form as she adapted to the tricky conditions very well. Her ability to play great draw bowls enabled her to control the head on most ends. Bruce played his part in the big win with well controlled bowls that shut the Downeys out of the game. On the odd occasions when the Downeys were able hold a shot, either Denise or Bruce were able to play a shot to grab the advantage.
The other two games were much closer. Doreen and John Monks had to work until the very last bowl to get the better of Stephanie Dennett and Chris Coddington. It was a tense battle between the very experienced Monks partnership and the relatively new bowlers in Dennett and Coddington.
For the first 11 ends nothing separated the two teams with very close ends. Coddington held a 9 – 8 advantage at this stage. The 12th end was crucial. The Monks’s turned the game upside down when they picked up 7 shots to move to 15 – 9 in front! However, Dennett and Coddington never gave up. They started their fightback on the next end picking up three shots and closed the gap to 17 – 15 after 16 ends.
Doreen and John seemed to have secured the match when they picked up 4 shots on the 17th end and regained their 6 shot lead. However, once again Stephanie and Chris fought back. They won the next three ends to go into the last end down 21 – 18. On this end they had the better of play but they could only manage 2 shots with John Monks not needing to play his last bowl to secure the hard fought 21 – 20 win.
The third game was between Carol and Doug Williams and Rose Farrington and Marcel Kors. This game also went down to the last few bowls in a very tight affair. It was a great battle between the two leads – Carol Williams and Rose Farrington. Farrington and Kors had the better start and while they were able to hold the lead throughout the game they were never in control.
After 12 ends the scores were locked at 9 all. The battle then followed a pattern of where Farrington and Kors would set up a lead only to see the Williams’s fight back. As the players moved into the last end Farrington and Kors were ahead 16 – 14. Farrington started the last end with two great bowls to give her team the advantage. They were able to maintain this advantage to score 2 shots and take the match 18 -14.
In the semi-finals Denise and Bruce Lidbury play Sue and John Fahey while Doreen and John Monks will play Rose Farrington and Marcel Kors.