Friday at the Nationals

The trouble with having a day off work at the beginning of the week, it makes it confusing to what day it really is!

It was Thursday so I’ve changed the post heading for yesterdays post.
Hannah was first up on D green. This was a challenge (as two others of us found out!). The green was very fast, looking like the baise on a snooker table, going towards the river. The bowl had barely left your hand when it was at the other end of the green. Coming back the other way was completely different. It was a good 2-3 yards heavier which was bizarre.
Hannah had a good game but went down by 3 shots to her Cambs opponent.
Next up was Ashley from Ashford, who dispatched his opponent fairly swiftly on E green.
Dawn started at the same time as Ashley on C green, but was still playing when everyone had gone off for lunch!  It was nip and tuck all game and Dawn was 12-10 up before dropping two 2’s to go 12-14 with 3 ends to go. She picked up two 1’s so that it was 14-14 going into the 21st end.
Dawn put her first bowl a foot wide of jack and her opponent came in to take the jack another 4 feet. Oh no. What to do now? A straighter forehand or a very wide backhand (it was taking about 5 feet of green before turning into the centre).
The decision was backhand. The bowl started its journey and then curved back and, unbelievably, caught the jack and took it back another 5 feet with Dawn’s bowl holding shot a couple of feet from the jack’s new resting place. Crikey, the best shot of the day!  Her opponent narrowed her delivery line and added plenty of weight but got wooded on Dawn’s first bowl. Dawn progressed into the final 16.
The second match was on D green, as described above. Dawn was good at going down the very speedy side towards the river but could not get her brain and arm to communicate the extra oomph needed to come back the other way. Her opponent did! So, it was the end of Dawn’s run.
Tom Smith started well but didn’t get past the finishing line before his opponent on D green.
Middlesex hopes in the Two Bowl now rested on Ashley. A much tighter came ensued on C green and then Ashley was in the last 16 on D green. His opponent, Harry Goodwin, is the current Under 25 World Indoor Bowls Champion and has a few outdoor credits as well.
The game was neck and neck and both were coping with the D green variances pretty well. Towards the crucial 17th/18th ends, Harry moved head and another score on 20th end brought Ashley’s great run to a conclusion.

Middlesex are putting in a request not to play Two Bowl Singles next year!!
Ollie Shearing last the Junior Boy’s quarter final yesterday morning.
It means today, Friday (I checked my calendar), it is an extremely quiet day for Middlesex on the greens but we are looking forward to watching the final few rounds of the Two Bowl Singles and the Men’s Top Club Semi-final. A time to watch some tiptop bowls and pick up some tips!

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