Rebecca Field through to last four in world indoor bowls championships after amazing fightback
- Credit: Archant © 2013
The good news for local bowls followers is that Rebecca Field, from the Norfolk club in Norwich, and Mervyn King, from the Gallow club in Fakenham, have been burning up the greens in the Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines world indoor championships at Potters Leisure Resort.
Just as well it's an indoor event, of course, because the snow is still lying on the ground at the five star resort, but it's nice and warm in the International Arena, where the world's best bowlers are doing battle.
For most overseas competitors, the snowfall has proved a popular diversion, and for some it had been their first experience of snow – with Kelvin Kerkow's 13-year-old son Ky relishing the chance to make snowmen and play snowballs.
On the rink, Field, though not at her best, has reached the semi-finals of the women's Matchplay Singles event, and King turned on an outstanding display of drawing to the jack and is looking forward to challenging for a place in the quarter-finals of the main singles.
Saturday was women's singles day, and those who made it through the snow to Potters were rewarded with some epic battles, starting with Field's startling victory over Laura Thomas, who was invited to compete after winning the women's world indoor singles under the rival code, the World Indoor Bowls Council.
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While Field struggled to master line and length in the first set, Thomas, a 27-year-old accountant from Skewen, near Neath, made hay when the snow fell. Thomas scored three successive doubles to lead 7-3, after six ends, then held her nerve to win the set 9-5 and looked the certain winner when she opened up a 5-0 lead after three ends in the second set. Then came the turning point – a modest single from Field that turned the game on its head, with the 23-year-old modern languages graduate hitting such exquisite form that she did not drop another shot as she sped to a remarkable 5-9, 10-5, 2-0 victory.
Referring to the position she found herself in with only six ends of the second set left toy, Field said: 'I needed a big spade to dig myself out of that hole. In fact, Laura was 5-0 and holding two shots, and if I had gone 7-0 down there would have been no way back.'
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Field added: 'Laura's drawing was out of this world, and, to be honest, I really don't know how I got out of it.'
After that brilliant single, Field added two doubles, another single and a full house of four shots to win the set at a canter – then completed Thomas's downfall by taking the tiebreak in back-to-back end.
Field will now take on one the Welsh twins who have been lighting up the arena with their play and lively personalities. Kerry and Kelly Packwoods are 26-year-old identical twins, and are trying to make it an unprecedented all-Packwood final.
Kelly, who eliminated defending champion Karen Murphy in the quarter-finals, will take on Guernsey's Ali Merrien, while Kerry, who toppled twice-champion Debbie Stavrou will face Field.