Jamie Chestney bounces back to shock world indoor bowls champion Stewart Anderson
- Credit: Archant © 2011
Two Norfolk superstars of the sport of lawn bowls – Rebecca Field and Jamie Chestney – set the arena alight in Blackpool, when they launched their bids for the Co-operative Funeralcare WBT International Open title.
But, while the 23-year-old Field lost her battle with world number 11 Jonathan Ross by a tantalisingly narrow margin, former Fakenham ace Chestney, who is 26, produced a sensational display to topple Scotland's Stewart Anderson, who, only eight days before, won the world indoor singles title at Potters Leisure Resort.
Chestney, who now lives in Devon, came back from the World Outdoor Championships in Adelaide before Christmas with a bronze medal in the pairs, but was disappointed with his form at Potters, where he fell at the first hurdle to Welsh veteran John Price.
Chestney always had his nose in front of Anderson in the opening set, then, with it safely in the bag, he played brilliantly to dominate the second set, and returned a well-deserved 8-6, 10-2 scorecard.
'I was so disappointed with my form at Potters that I was on the point of considering my position, and giving up on singles play,' said Chestney. 'I was beginning to feel that I was a better skip in team events than I am at singles.'
Monday's outstanding win over the world champion will not surprise many who know just how good Chestney can be, but it will certainly give him a much-needed psychological boost.
Bex Field, single-handedly carrying the hopes of her gender, after being invited as a wildcard entry following her great win in the women's World Matchplay singles at Potters, left the green with mixed feelings after losing to Ross on a tie-break.
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'I'm glad I was able to take a set off him, and believe I pushed him all the way, but I was disappointed at my form in the first set, when I should have performed better,' Field said, after Ross had edged home, 11-6, 4-6, 2-0.
'The green here in Blackpool is not at all like the portable rink,' she added. 'It's much longer, and heavier, too, with tricks that make life difficult.' The Newton Hall club is situated in a building that once served as the winter quarters for the elephants at Blackpool Circus.
Dropping a full house of four shots on the first end was hardly in the script, but the Norfolk ace soon made amends, and had caught Ross at 6-6 by the sixth end, when the popular Irish-born Scottish international closed the set down with two doubles and a single.
'I did much better in the second set, which was a very low-scoring affair,' observed Field. 'And I held shots on both the tie-break ends, before Jonathan got them back somehow.'