Norfolk girls are the best of British
David Rhys-JonesBex Field and Carol Pollington, an unlikely partnership from the Norfolk Club in Norwich, won the British Isles women's indoor pairs title in Perth this week, defeating Irish champions Moya McGuile and Sandra Bailie, 21-12, in the final.David Rhys-Jones
Bex Field and Carol Pollington, an unlikely partnership from the Norfolk Club in Norwich, won the British Isles women's indoor pairs title in Perth this week, defeating Irish champions Moya McGuile and Sandra Bailie, 21-12, in the final.
The event traditionally features the champions of the four home countries and the Channel Islands, but Field and Pollington, runners-up in the English championship last year, were surprised to be asked to stand in for Cumbria's mother-and-daughter duo Cindy and Karen Edmondson, who were unavailable.
'I was so delighted to get the call,' said Pollington. 'Things haven't gone too well for me off the green recently, and it was wonderful to get back in action and have this chance to make a statement in Perth.'
After beating Scottish champions Angela Uttley and Wendy Purdie, 21-8, in the semi-finals, Field and Pollington were 5-0 up after two ends against Ireland, and, with Field in brilliant form, led 17-6 after 11 ends.
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'Bex was bowling so well, she was on another planet,' said Pollington. 'It meant that all I had to do was to play defensively, getting my bowls in good positions. It was a great feeling.'
Pollington, who played for England from 1998 to 2001, added: 'I'm absolutely elated to have made the most of this unexpected opportunity - not many people get the chance to challenge for a British title without being a national champion.'
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Field has not had much time on a bowling green for several months, because she is studying languages in Spain.
t Norfolk's Jamie Chestney and Tim Stone helped England relieve holders Scotland of the British indoor bowls team title, and lifted the Hilton Trophy.
Chestney played a key role at skip, winning all three of his matches, and finishing the series with a shots surplus of +17, while Acle's Stone was outstanding as second man to England's Scots-born team captain Andy Thomson's. Chestney, who was looking forward to having his Gallow clubmate Mervyn King at third man, had to make do with replacement Neil McKee when King dropped out because of work commitments.
Fortunately, McKee and Chestney gelled well, and, with Brett Arkley and Simon Jones at the front end, the makeshift but unbeaten quartet returned cards of 18-17, 25-15 and 21-15.
Stone combined well with Paul Field at the front end, and the back-end combination of teenager Sam Tolchard and veteran Thomson proved to be a winner.
Thomson's quartet opened with a 38-14 victory over Ireland, then added a 24-14 win over Wales - and were satisfied to play defensively against a Scottish rink skipped by world number one Paul Foster, who pipped them, 16-13.
England went into the decider hoping to beat Scotland, but, having amassed superior shots differences against Wales and Ireland, knew that a tie would be in their favour.
Leading 99-98 with one end to play, but one down on Chestney's rink, Thomson stepped forward and instructed the Gallow youngster not to play his last bowl, because the 99-99 tie was enough to see England home.