The first games in the 2021 Major Pairs have been played in extremely difficult conditions. The cold windy change that arrived on Saturday tested all players with the wind playing tricks with the bowls. Entries for this event are disappointing but it is shaping up as a very interesting competition nonetheless.
Defending Champion Joel Hilliard has a new partner due to the unavailability of Peter Davies. This year he has teamed with John Fahey – himself a former winner of the event! They had to struggle against Des Jackson and Stuart Graham in their first match. Jackson and Graham had the better of the early ends and set up a 8 – 4 lead before Fahey and Hilliard stormed into the match picking up 4 shots on both the 9th and 10th ends to take the lead. They slowly took control of the game and ended up winning 25 – 13.
In somewhat of a surprise the strong team of Noel Downie and John Monks have been knocked out by Alan McLeod and Col Fletcher. Downie and Monks were no match for McLeod and Fletcher who dominated the game. McLeod and Fletcher led from the start with McLeod managing the tricky winds very well to dominate the head. When Downie and Monks looked like they would pick up some shots, Fletcher was able to play some great attacking bowls to prevent them from getting back into the game. McLeod and Fletcher won 23 – 8!
Peter Macdonald and Ray Downey had a strong start in their clash with Michael Challice and Marcel Kors. After 5 ends they led 9 – 0 but by the 10th end Challice and Kors had fought back to trail by just 10 – 8. The remainder of the game was a close tussle but Macdonald and Downey were able to keep their noses in front to win 20 – 16.
Lou Kozlik and Mick Atkinson had a great tussle with Bruce Magilton and Doug Williams. Kozlik and Atkinson started very well and led 10 – 0 after 5 ends but Magilton and Williams had the better of the next section of the game and by the 11th end they had taken the lead 12 – 11. Kozlik and Atkinson steadied and regained the lead. They moved to a 20 -14 lead before another determined fightback by Magilton and Williams just failed to close the gap. Kozlk and Atkinson ran out 21 – 18 winners.
In the semi-finals Kozlik and Atkinson will play Fahey and Hilliard while McLeod and Fletcher will play Macdonald and Downey