Jamie Chestney and Lesley Doig take mixed pairs crown after beating Rebecca Field and Darren Burnett
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Local supporters were guaranteed a good afternoon yesterday, when two bowlers with Norfolk connections came face-to-face in the final of the Just World Indoor Mixed Pairs Matchplay championship at Potters.
Norfolk Bowling Club star Rebecca Field was leading for Commonwealth Games men's singles champion Darren Burnett, and Jamie Chestney, who launched his bowls career at Downham Market Ex-Servicemen's club, was playing at skip with Scottish international Lesley Doig.
In a high quality final that entertained a large crowd in the International Arena, and an even larger audience nationwide on BBC TV, Doig and Chestney defeated Field and Burnett in straight sets, 8-4, 7-6.
Shots were so hard to come by that a treble on the seventh end of the first end was enough to tip the balance the way of Doig and Chestney – and a treble on the fifth end of the second set looked to be doing the same for Field and Burnett.
But, while the green duo cashed in on their advantage in the first set, the red team lost their way in the second, as Field, who swore the temperature in the arena dropped, fell short in too many of her deliveries.
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To be fair, both leads did their stuff, setting up good positions for their skips, and the key factor turned out to be the high success rate achieved by Chestney with his running bowls.
This was in stark contrast to the way in which Chestney's firing shots against Burnett in yesterday morning's second round match failed to function, not because they were wildly off target, but because Lady Luck deserted him.
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'The opposition this week has been world class, so I am thrilled to have done the double,' said the 31-year-old Chestney, who on Monday won the Open Pairs with Blackpool's Mark Dawes.
Doig, a 26-year-old dental nurse, who plays for East Fife, admitted to being nervous on her first appearance at Potters, and was poker-faced on the green - but she broke into a broad smile when she realised she had won a world title.
'Jamie and I had never spoken to each other before we met here at the start of the tournament,' she said. 'But we got on together so well, and always backed each other up.'