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WORLD BOWLS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
This exciting and brand new event brings together
the World Cup, organised by World Bowls, and the World Championships of the
at Bristol Indoor Bowls Club 25-29 April, 2022
World Indoor Bowls Council under one banner. It involves 64
players from 29 countries, playing in men´s singles, women´s singles and
The 29 countries are (in alphabetical order):- Australia,
Botswana, Canada, England, Falkland Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary,
Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Jersey, Kenya, Malaysia, Namibia,
Netherlands, Pakistan, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka,
Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, USA and Wales.
Friday 29th April
On top of the world World Bowls Indoor Singles
Champions Julie Forrest and Mike Stepney.
Scottish bowlers have dominated this week´s inaugural World
Bowls Indoor Championships in Bristol. After providing three out of
four finalists yesterday (THU) in the mixed pairs, three Scots today
(FRI) secured places in the finals of the men´s and women´s singles.
The all-Scottish men´s singles final featured Blantyre´s Stewart
Anderson and Elgin´s Mike Stepney, while Gloria Ha, a 20-year-old
student, the lone non-Scot, who took on Teviotdale´s legendary
52-year-old Julie Forrest, looked very much at home on the Bristol
It turned out to be a Scottish double, Stepney
beating Anderson, 10-5, 5-12, 1-0, and Forrest overwhelming Ha in
straight sets, 9-4, 10-2.
Anderson, who was slightly below
his best, still managed to delight the crowd with some inch-perfect
deliveries, but it was Stepney who came up trumps, winning a
thrilling final with a magnificent escape shot when Anderson was
holding what seemed to be an impregnable match lie.
"That´s three times lucky for me,"
said Stepney. "I reached the final of the old
World Indoor Bowls Council singles twice, but lost on both
occasions, so it´s great to have that under my belt. I will
certainly remember that winning shot as long as I live!"
Stepney won the first set at a canter, but Anderson stepped up a
gear in the second set, and deserved to set up a sudden death
tiebreak. Putting his first bowl near the jack, Anderson placed his
next three bowls tactically, seemingly blocking Stepney´s approach.
But a sensational bowl from Stepney found a gap, made contact
with the shot bowl, and clinically dispatched it out of the count.
It was the last bowl of the end, so a deflated Anderson had no right
The remarkable Forrest, who has appeared the final
of the WIBC event that led up to these championships six times,
winning the title four times, was odds-on favourite to beat her
inexperienced opponent, but Ha showed enough to suggest she could
make a mark for herself on the world stage.
Before the event
got underway, Forrest hinted that, if she won it, she might call it
a day. Although this was officially a new event, it had grown out of
the WIBC championships, so it was, in a sense, her fifth victory -
and she was always in control against her talented Hong Kong
In the men´s semi finals, Stepney, a 41-year-old
joiner, swept to a comfortable 9-3, 11-1 win over South Africa´s
Jason Evans, but Anderson, a prolific winner of titles, struggled to
get the better of England left-hander Andy Walters, the Scot getting
home on a tense tiebreak, 7-11, 5-4, 1-0.
Ha, who had toppled
the favourite Alison Merrien, from Guernsey, in the quarter final,
reached the final with a convincing 10-3, 10-5 win over Ireland´s
Sandra Bailie, but Forrest was pushed all the way by Welsh ace Amy
Williams, before emerging a 9-4, 8-7 winner.
Note players marked * were invited to compete as
holders of WB and IIBC singles titles. Gary Kelly is the holder of
the WB World Cup, while Stewart Anderson and Alison Merrien were the
last winners of the IIBC men´s and women´s world indoor
*Stewart Anderson (Scotland) bt Andy Walters (England)
7-11, 5-4, 1-0;
Mike Stepney (Scotland) bt Jason Evans (South
Africa) 9-3, 11-1.
Stepney bt Anderson 10-5. 5-12, 1-0.
Gloria Ha (Hong Kong) bt Sandra Bailie (Ireland)
Julie Forrest (Scotland) bt Amy Williams (Wales) 9-4,
Forrest bt Ha 9-4, 10-2.
STORY & RESULTS FILED BY
EVENT PRESS LIAISON OFFICER
DAVID RHYS JONES