Northampton bowler Jamie Walker claimed a gold medal for being part of the England triples team that claimed World Championship glory in Christchurch in New Zealand.
There was also a silver medal for another Northants bowler, with Desborough’s Rebecca Wigfield part of the England Ladies fours team that finished runners-up to Australia.
Walker, who bowls for Northampton West End, was part of the England triples team, playing alongside Berkshire’s Andrew Knapper and Robert Paxton from Devon.
In this two bowls per player triples tournament, they had an excellent record in the group stage, playing nine matches and losing just one of them, to head the group and qualify for the semi-finals.
In the group stage, Walker and his team-mates beat Spain 14-11, Norfolk Island 23-13, Scotland 18-13, South Africa 21-10, Japan 19-10, Niue 31-8, Fiji 16-13 and Zimbabwe 21-15. Their one loss was an 18-13 reverse against Brunei.
In the semi-finals they beat the Japanese trio of Hank Sato, Ken Emura and Kenta Hasebe 18-9 to set up a final against the Australian triple of Barrie Lester, Mark Casey and Aaron Sherriff.
England were trying to win the triples title for the first time since 1980, when Jimmy Hobday, Tony Allcock and David Bryant were champions in Melbourne.
It was a classic match, and after 15 ends the scores were tied at 12-12.
After two more ends England got their noses in front at 14-12, and with the last end being played, the Australian skip fired with his last bowl - he took England’s second bowl out and almost got the third shot he needed for victory, but a measure showed that the match was tied up at 14-14!
That meant an extra end had to be played, and England gave the jack to Australia to start.
When the Aussie lead put his first bowl very close to the jack, Walker bowled a brilliant wood to trail the jack and stay with it, making it very difficult to beat.
That proved to be the case for, despite their best efforts, Australia could not shift Walker’s bowl and the gold medal was England’s as they became world triples champions.
Walker will now turn his attention to the men’s singles tournament which starts this week, while Wigfield will be hoping she can go one step further and seal gold in the ladies triples.
James rink victory seals Northants win
NORTHANTS men travelled to Norwich to take on Norfolk in a friendly, and it was a fruitful trip as the County claimed a 136-119 victory.
The win was down in no small part to the massive win posted by the rink skipped by Terry James which won by 31 shots.
Rink details, Norfolk skips only, as follows:
Rink 1: Trevor Tilley, Keith Pick, Dave Williamson & George Warren 17 – Tony Dunton 28
Rink 2: Will Clelland, Tony Warren, John Streather & Terry James 40 – Ray Cutting 9
Rink 3: Jim Diver, Stuart Lowe, Brian Langton & Norman Gibb 19 – Vic Moore 17
Rink 4: Keith Howlett, John Carson, Richard Somerton & Geoff Hunt 16 – John Hardy 25
Rink 5: Roger Miller, Eddie Chapman, Brian Sherwood & John Haines 23 – David Perry 29
Rink 6: Harvey Fruish, Don Scott, Bob Tingle & Michael Moulton 21 – Mal Cushing 11
LATEST national competition results.
Ladies singles second round: Linda Warren, Northampton & District IBC beat Sharon Tansley, Kingsthorpe BC 21-7.
Ladies Fours first round: Chloe Weston, Elaine Cox, Joan Sidebottom & Louise Haladij, Northampton & District IBC beat Sue Briggs, Joan Bryan, Pat Starsmore & Audrey Height, Kettering Lodge BC 21-11
Mixed Pairs fourth round: Dena Bryan & Connor Cinato, Kingsthorpe BC beat Debbie Watkins & David Walker, Kingsthorpe BC 19-4
Men’s Over-60s singles second round: John Haines, Desborough IBC beat George Clifton, Kingsthorpe BC 21-6
Men’s over-60s fours first round: Pete Maloy, Mick Richardson, Jim McKee & Mick Sharpe, Kingsthorpe BC beat Roger Summers, Ian Daverson, John Leggett & Tony Weston, Northampton & District IBA 20-5
Men’s triples second round: Andy Smith, Richard Lemon & Chris Bland, Northampton & District IBC beat Chris Wright, Martin Gearey & Iain Walker, Kingsthorpe BC 15-14
Over-6os inter-club double rinks third round: Desborough IBC beat Northampton & District IBC 39-28 shots. Details as follows, Desborough names first:
At Desborough: Rink 1: Will Clelland, Alec McKim, Dougie Ainsworth & Norman Gibb 21 – Roger Summers, Colin Barnes, Dave Fage & Tony Weston 14
At Northampton: Rink 2: Jim Diver, Martin Underwood, Pete Mellor & John Haines 18 – Tony Ellis, Bob Reynolds, Reg Jones & John Leggett 14
Kingsthorpe BC beat Wellingborough BC 33-27 shots.
Details as follows, Kingsthorpe names first:
At Wellingborough: Rink 1: Mick Richardson, Paul O’Beirne, Colin Jones & Jim McKee 13 – Dennis Collins, Terry Williams, Terry Falkner & Walt Winsor 20
At Kingsthorpe: Rink 2: Jeff Mace, Pete Morris, Roger Tansley & Mick Sharpe 20 – Howard Jones, Alan Coleman, Richard Horrell & Mick Cooper 7