Countdown on for finals berths in Cardiff
A crowd-pleasing day on the greens in South Wales today with this side of the bowls world’s premier players dishing up a masterclass at the Atlantic Championships.
And no ground-shaking results either – as the top fancies begin to position themselves for the next two day’s charge at the finals – when personal success and medals are available for sure – but secondary to national qualification for next year’s world championships in Australia.
Finalists last time around Jamie Walker from England and Scottish world and Commonwealth champion Darren Burnett lead their sections in the men’s singles; while in the fours it’s Ben Thomas, Ross Owen, Stephen Harris and Jon Tomlinson from Wales holding sway in Section 1, while Ireland’s Aaron Tennant, Neil Mulholland, Andy Kyle and Mark Wilson head the leader board in Section 2.
Welsh starlets Sarah-Marie Nicholls and Ysie White are the front-runners in women’s pairs Section 1; as are Rebecca Wigfield and Natalie Chestney from England in Section 2.
Likewise, the triples sees Jacqui Van Rensburg, Esmé Kruger and Anneke Snyman from South Africa going into Day 3 as overnight leaders in Section 1, while England’s Jamie-Lea Winch, Lorraine Kuhler and Sian Honnor are the top combination in Section 2.
Over the past nine days the 2019 Atlantic Championships – featuring twenty-five bowling nations from the European, African and South American theatres at four host clubs around the Welsh capital – Barry Athletic, Dinas Powys, Penarth Windsor and Penylan – has thrilled visiting bowls lovers from far and wide.
Leading the charge is the Welsh faithful who have been staunch behind their charges and cheering from every vantage point at the four clubs.
Much local interest this week is focussed on the in-form Welsh fours combination of skipper Jon Tomlinson and his sidekicks Steve Harris, Ross Owen and Ben Thomas.
The highly rated Tomlinson, 36, and his RTB Ebbw Vale clubmate Steve Harris, 43, are the steady hands of the side, with standout youngsters Ross Owen (25) from Aberdare Harlequins and Pontrhydyfen 27-year-old Ben Thomas delivering the grunt up front.
Along with 24-year-old Penylan whiz Dan Salmon, who already covets a Commonwealth Games pairs gold medal (last year with recently retired Marc Wyatt) and a world youth singles title, this quintet of Red Dragons frontlines the Welsh push for international success in the future.
‘They’re a very promising group,’ said national coach David Harding, as his men with the rock star good looks stood toe-to-toe against Zimbabwe in this morning’s fours encounter at Penylan.
‘And we have plenty of depth in our squad to keep them in shape along the journey. Our team recently won the British Isles International Series at Leamington Spa – the first Welsh series win in England for 61 years.
‘We’re expecting these guys to give a very good account of themselves this week. Wouldn’t it be great if they emulated our women’s fours gold medal success?’
And what about Dan Salmon’s chances in the men’s singles? ‘An awesome talent,’ said Harding, ‘capable of beating anyone when he’s on song. So we’re hopeful he’s tuned in this week.’
Qualifying rounds of the Atlantic Championships continue daily until the gold medal play-offs at Penylan next Thursday.
Photo: Good judges are predicting big things from the richly talented Welsh men’s fours team: Jon Tomlinson, Steve Harris, Ross Owen and Ben Thomas.
2019 Atlantic Bowls Championships, Cardiff, Wales, UK
Sec.1: Rd.4: GUE (Matt Le Ber) bt FRA (Amaury Dumont) 21-8, ARG (Jose Riveros) bt BOT (Remmy Kebapetse) 21-10, WAL (Dan Salmon) bt KEN (Joseph Kitosi) 21-10, ENG (Jamie Walker) bt IOM (Mark McGreal) 21-10, JER (Ross Davis) bt NED (Frank De Vries) 21-19. Rd.5: RSA (Pierre Breitenbach) bt BOT 21-7, GUE bt JAM (Mervyn Edwards) 21-6, ENG bt FRA 21-14, NED bt WAL 21-10, ARG bt IOM 21-18. Rd.6: ENG bt JAM 21-7, BOT bt JER 21-15, RSA bt IOM 21-19, FRA bt ARG 21-16, GUE drew KEN 20-20.
Current standings: ENGLAND 15 points +50 shots, RSA 15 +48, JER 12 +19, WAL 9 +25, GUE 7 +24, NED 6 -4, ARG 6 -9, IOM 6 -10, BOT 6 -24, KEN 4 -17, FRA 3 -44, JAM 0 -58.
Sec.2: Rd.3: ZIM (Myles Hopper) bt MLT (Brendan Aquilina) 21-12, SUI (Thomas Walti) bt TUR (Ozkan Akar) 21-19, NAM (Cabous Olivier) bt HUN (Zoltan Pavelka) 21-8, ISR (Zvika Hadar) bt BRA (Joao Correa) 21-18, SCO (Darren Burnett) bt CYP (Bob Manson) 21-9, IRE (Adam McKeown) bt ESP (Tom Rogers) 21-14. Rd.4: TUR bt CYP 21-9, NAM bt ISR 21-19, MLT bt IRE 21-8, ZIM bt ESP 21-16, BRA bt HUN 21-6, SCO bt SUI 21-8.
Current standings: SCOTLAND 12 points +49 shots, NAM 12 +28, MLT 9 +30, ISR 9 +16, IRE 9 +5, ZIM 6 -9, SUI 6 -14, TUR 3 +4, BRA 3 -4, ESP 3 -9, HUN 0 -46, CYP 0 -50.
Sec.1: Rd.3: WAL (Ben Thomas, Ross Owen, Stephen Harris, Jon Tomlinson) bt NAM (John Fouche, Piet Appolis, Johan Jacobs, Will Esterhuizen) 17-8, JER (Derek Boswell, Greg Davis, Scott Ruderham, Malcolm De Sousa) bt MLT (Peter Tonna, Wes Hedges, Mark Malogorski, Len Callus) 19-11, ISR (Daniel Alonim, Selwyn Hare, Danny Slodovnik, Allan Saitowitz) bt GUE (Terry Brokenshire, Matt Solway, Mick Ogier, Chris Dyer) 13-8, ZIM (Mike Eaton, Clive Robertson, Tom Craven, Denis Streak) bt TUR (Ahmet Gargabijk, Vuslat Arac, Huseyin Tukenmez, Serkan Akar) 14-13. Rd.4: ARG (Ricardo Rubinat, Rodolfo Muller, Jorge Barreto, Raul Pollet) bt GUE 19-8, ISR bt TUR 23-4, WAL bt MLT 19-10, NAM bt ZIM 16-11,
Current standings: WALES 9 points +33 shots, ISR 9 +16, NAM 9 +7, ZIM 9 +6, JER 6 +12, ARG 3 +4, TUR 3 -31, GUE 0 -22, MLT 0 -25.
Sec.2: Rd.3: IRE (Aaron Tennant, Neil Mulholland, Andrew Kyle, Mark Wilson) bt BOT (Ajitkumar Naik, Baven Balendra, John Gaborutwe, Binesh Desai) 26-8, RSA (Wayne Rittmuller, Prince Neluonde, Jason Evans, Billy Radloff) bt KEN (David Salmon, Benson Wambugu, Charles Wambugu, Andrew Jones) 16-8, ENG (Steve Mitchinson, David Bolt, Ian Lesley, Sam Tolchard) bt ESP (John Pooley, Brian Manser, Derek Eldon, Graham Cathcart) 15-9, SUI (Sven Rubin, Ulrich Hausler, Beat Matti, Thomas Schneiter) bt BRA (Francis Vila, Heitor Correa, Keith Rowland, Peter Gordon) 24-8. Rd.4: SCO (Ronnie Duncan, Derek Oliver, Paul Foster, Alex Marshall) bt BRA 16-14, ENG bt KEN 21-9, ESP bt SUI 34-6, RSA bt BOT 17-11.
Current standings: IRELAND 9 points +46 shots, ENG 9 +36, RSA 9 +28, SCO 9 +25, ESP 3 +4, BOT 3 -24, KEN 3 -34, SUI 3 -53, BRA 0 -28.
Sec.1: Rd.3: WAL (Sara Marie Nicholls, Ysie White) bt ARG (Marta Gesualto, Ana Ramos) 31-5, GUE (Rose Ogier, Lucy Beere) bt JER (Chloe Greechan, Fiona Archibald) 28-4, ISR (Ruti Gilor, Tami Kamzel) bt ESP (Debbie Colquhoun, Maggie Holmes) 21-12, RSA (Nici Neal, Colleen Piketh) bt SUI (Noelle Iseli, Simone Iseli) 29-9. Rd.4: MLT (Rebecca Rixon, Connie Rixon) bt ISR 25-8, WAL bt SUI 33-6, JER bt ARG 21-7, GUE bt ESP 25-13.
Current standings: WALES 9 points +62 shots, GUE 9 +39, RSA 9 +36, JER 9 +6, MLT 3 +12, ESP 3 -23, ISR 3 -25, ARG 3 -49, SUI 0 -58.
Sec.2: Rd.3: ENG (Rebecca Wigfield, Natalie Chestney) bt IOM (Karen Slack, Pam Makin) 24-10, IRE (Gemma McClean, Sarah-Jane Curran) bt TUR (Eylem Carcabuk, Ceyda Arac) 43-4, NAM (Anjuleen Viljoen, Amanda Steenkamp) drew NED (Ineke Nagtegaal, Norma Duin) 13-13, SCO (Stacey McDougall, Megan Grantham) bt ZIM (Caryn Sinclair, Melanie James) 23-10. Rd.4: SCO bt FRA (Audrey Vyt, Emma Baggio) 25-11, NED bt TUR 29-14, ENG bt ZIM 19-12, IRE bt IOM 24-14.
Current standings: ENGLAND 12 points +61 shots, IRE 10 +50, NED 7 +24, SCO 6 +20, NAM 4 +29, ZIM 4 -15, IOM 0 -26, FRA 0 -24, TUR 0 -119.
Sec.1: Rd.3: ARG (Sara Jaimez, Celia Jaimez, Gabriela Vallamarin) bt TUR (Havva Konanc, Filiz Adiguzel, Rahsan Akar) 19-18, ZAM (Gertrude Siama, Sophie Matipa, Eddah Mpezeni) bt GUE (Jackie Nicolle, Lyn Small, Gwen De La Mare) 20-13, CYP (Maria Staniland, Yvonne Veitch, Hazel Bagshaw) bt BOT (Marea Modutlwa, Chikale Robert, Tibone Fox) 18-13, ESP (Lynne Eldon, Gillian Atkinson, Jenny Thompson) bt MLT (Rita Hedges, Rose Rixon, Sharon Callus) 17-14, WAL (Melanie Thomas, Bethan Russ, Anwen Butten) bt IRE (Ashleigh Rainey, Courtney Wright Shauna O’Neill) 20-13. Rd.4: RSA (Jacqui Van Rensburg, Esmé Kruger, Anneke Snyman) bt ARG 30-10, GUE bt WAL 19-9, CYP bt ESP 20-15, BOT bt MLT 17-10, IRE bt ZAM 18-14.
Current standings: SOUTH AFRICA 9 points +45 shots, IRE 9 +31, WAL 9 +18, GUE 6 +12, ZAM 6 +5, CYP 6 -10, TUR 3 -8, ESP 3 -12, BOT 3 -14, MLT 3 -32, ARG 3 -35.
Sec.2: Rd.3: KEN (Susan Wambugu, Grace Njuguna, Ester Ndungu) bt SCO (Hannah Smith, Claire Johnston, Caroline Brown) 14-13, NAM (Elzaan De Vries, Bianca Lewis, Diana Viljoen) bt IOM (Marcia Pearson, Bernice McGreal, Janice Pilling) 23-7, JER (Ethel Southern, Lorraine Bowman, Jean Holmes) bt ZIM (Allyson Dale, Heather Singleton, Kerry Craven) 20-19, FRA (Amandine France, Cindy Royet, Jennifer Gomez) bt SUI (Larissa Rubin, Caroline Lehmann, Simone Kunz) 14-13, ENG (Jamie-Lea Winch, Lorraine Kuhler, Sian Honnor) bt NED (Elly Dolieslager, Betty Schiltman, Saskia Schaft) 19-15. Rd.4: ZIM bt IOM 20-17, JER drew FRA 16-16, ENG bt SUI 31-7, SCO bt NED 30-7, NAM bt KEN 16-15.
Current standings: ENGLAND 12 points +67 shots, SCO 9 +65, NAM 9 +24, ZIM 6 Sq, KEN 6 -8, JER 4 -15, FRA 4 -28, IOM 3 -20, NED 3 -26, SUI 3 -59.