Former Ireland international Jeremy Henry and Norfolk Island’s much-admired Carmen Anderson struck World Cup indoor singles gold at the Warilla Bowls & Recreation Club today.
It is an unprecedented fourth title over the past five years for Henry, who was imperious in the all-Ireland final, defeating Andy Kyle in straight sets 8-6 9-3.
Kyle, a 37-year-old sales manager who plays his bowls at the County Antrim Indoor Club in Belfast, was impressive throughout the competition and good judges rated him a good chance to topple his former international teammate. However, timely counts in the seventh and eighth ends of the first set, then the collection of nine shots over five consecutive ends in the second was the difference.
And while the current focus in major events is aimed at young players, the effervescent Anderson, who turned sixty last July, struck a heart-warming blow for mature age competitors when she clinched the women’s final.
In the main event she defeated defending champion Siti Zalina Ahmad from Malaysia in straight sets 6-5 7-6 in front of a large and appreciative audience in the Warilla indoor bowls stadium.
The final was a tightly contested affair with the scores level going into the last end of both sets before Anderson claimed the vital winning shot on each occasion.
It is twenty years since the diminutive Norfolk Islander first rocketed onto the international scene when she captured the world outdoor singles championship in England at Royal Leamington Spa.
Henry eclipsed Scott Roberts from the USA in the morning semi final to secure his appointment with Kyle in the men’s final. However, hats off to Roberts, the reigning US Open singles champion, who only had limited experience on indoor greens prior to his arrival at Warilla, while the lights, camera and action of a televised world final must be a daunting experience for anyone.