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Day 1 wrap: World Bowls and IIBC Indoor Championships

Fifty-eight of the best bowlers in the world from 30 countries are in the Channel Islands competing for three world titles in menโ€™s singles, womenโ€™s singles and mixed pairs over the next seven days.

The World Bowls and International Indoor Bowls Councilโ€™s indoor championships are being hosted by Guernsey Indoor Bowling Association.

Defending womenโ€™s singles champion Scotlandโ€™s Julie Forrest was pushed all the way in her first match in defence of her title. It took a tie-break end against Connie Rixon from Malta to get her over the line, 8-5, 2-10, 1-0, while in the mixed pairs Julie and 2022 menโ€™s singles winner Michael Stepney chalked up success against the home favourites Rose Ogier and Jason Greenslade, 4-6, 10-5, 1-0. In the menโ€™s singles clash of the day, Welsh-born Greenslade, who now wears the Guernsey flag on his back, beat his fellow World Bowls Tour top 16 competitor Stepney 5-8, 10-3, 1-0.

President of the IIBC Alison Merrien MBE, whose club is GIBA, is playing in the mixed pairs with Swedenโ€™s Ollie Backgren. They lost out in their opening match on a tie-break to Nor Farah Ain Abdulah and Izzat Shameer Dzulkepie from Malaysia.

Imagine attending a world event without your bowls and kit, well thatโ€™s exactly what has happened to players from three countries attending.

Itโ€™s been a traumatic start for players from Hong Kong, China, South Africa and Botswana whose luggage has been caught up in a large baggage backlog at Dubai airport after an epic flood and not yet made it to Guernsey.

The opening dayโ€™s play followed an opening ceremony hosted by The Bailiff of Guernsey Sir Richard McMahon in the Grand Hall of the Royal Court House in St Peter Port when he welcomed all players to the island.

Sectional play continues tomorrow (Monday) at 8.30 am UK time.



Section 1: Loren Dion (USA) bt Robert Simpson (Jamaica) 10-5, 7-3; Pete Bonsor (Spain) bt Jordy Jones (Norfolk Island) 12-4, 4-4; Ozkan Akar (Turkiye) bt Stanley Gon Lap Lai (Hong Kong, China) 7-3, 6-6; Ray Pearse (Australia) bt Simon Martin (Ireland) 5-7, 8-3, 1-0.

Section 2: Chiu Pok Man (Singapore) bt Joe Saragozza (Malta) 5-5, 8-5; Izzat Shameer Dzulkeple (Malaysia) bt Derek Boswell (Jersey) 11-3, 10-1.

Section 3: Carel Olivier (Namibia) bt Guillaume Hertzog (France) 6-5, 7-3; Jason Greenslade (Guernsey) bt Michael Stepney (Scotland) 5-8, 10-3, 1-0; Beat Matti (Switzerland) bt Olle Backgren (Sweden) 4-3, 6-4.

Section 4: Shannon McIlroy (New Zealand) bt Hisaharu Satou (Japan) 7-6, 8-1; Clive McGreal (Isle of Man) bt Gabor Foti (Hungary) 4-8, 8-5, 1-0.

Section 5: Mike McNorton (Canada) bt Oliver Thompson (Falkland Islands) 7-2, 6-5, 1-0; Harry Goodwin (England) bt Michael Gabobewe (Botswana) 10-2, 9-4; Jason Evans (South Africa) bt Johnny Ng (Macao, China) 9-3, 5-3.


Section 1: Esme Haley (South Africa) bt Lisa Bonsor (Spain) 2-13, 7-4, 1-0; Natalie McWilliams (Scotland) bt Nor Farah Ain Abdullah (Malaysia) 5-5, 9-5.

Section 2: Julie Forrest (Scotland) bt Connie Rixon (Malta) 8-5, 2-10, 1-0; Gloria Ting Ha (Hong Kong, China) bt Mary Thompson (USA) 7-4, 4-3; Lindsey Greechan (Jersey) bt Keiko Kurohara (Japan) 9-4, 13-2.

Section 3: Samantha Atkinson (Australia) bt Sara Nicholls (Wales) 11-5, 10-4; Christine Jones (Norfolk Island) bt Irit Grencel (Israel) 6-6, 11-2.

Section 4: Linda Ng (Canada) bt Cindy Royet (France) 11-1, 4-3; Tayla Bruce (New Zealand) bt Maureen Caesar (Jamaica) 19-0, 12-2; Lephao Marea Modutlwa (Botswana) bt Pain Lai (Macao, China) 7-3, 9-4.

Section 5: Rose Ogier (Guernsey) bt Marianne Kuezie (Switzerland) 7-9, 6-5, 1-0; Sandra Bailie MBE (Ireland) bt Caroline Whitehead (Isle of Man) 11-4, 5-5; Rebecca McMillan (England) bt Yvonne Olivier (Namibia) 12-3, 9-3.


Section 1: Samantha Atkinson and Ray Pearse (Australia) bt Sara Nicholls and Kristian Crocker (Wales) 9-7, 6-7, 1-0; Caroline Whitehead and Clive McGreal (Isle of Man) bt Marinanne Kuezie and Beat Matti (Switzerland)) 3-9, 15-2, 1-0.

Section 2: Connie Rixon and Joe Saragozza (Malta) bt Christine (Petal) Jones and Jordy Jones (Norfolk Island) 7-6, 12-7; Nor Farah Ain Abdulah and Izzat Shameer Dzulkepie (Malaysia) bt Ollie Backgren (Sweden) and Alison Merrien MBE (Guernsey) 8-10, 10-2, 1-0; Lindsey Greechan and Derek Boswell (Jersey) bt Irit Grencel (Israel) and Gabor Foti (Hungary) 9-6, 9-3.

Section 3: Oliver Thompson (Falkland Islands) and Natalie McWilliams (Scotland) bt Lephai Marea Modutlwa and Mike Gabobewe (Botswana) 3-9, 7-3, 1-0; Sandra Bailie MBE and Simon Martin (Ireland) bt Pian Lai and Johnny Ng (Macao, China) 10-2, 2-6, 1-0; Linda Ng and Mike McNorton (Canada) bt Maureen Caesar and Robert Simpson (Jamaica) 11-3, 7-3.

Section 4: Mary Thompson and Loren Dion (USA) bt Cindy Royet and Guilaume Hertog (France) 10-5, 6-8, 1-0; Rebecca McMillan and Harry Goodwin (England) bt Stanley Gon Lap Lai and Gloria Yat Ting Ha (Hong Kong, China) 10-10, 11-3; Tayla Bruce and Shannon McIllroy (New Zealand) bt Mary Lee Beng Hua and Chiu Pok Man (Singapore) 12-3, 12-4.

Section 5: Julie Forrest and Michael Stepney (Scotland) bt Rose Ogier and Jason Greenslade (Guernsey) 4-6, 10-5, 1-0; Keiko Kurohara and Hisaharu Satou (Japan) bt Esme Haley and Jason Evans (South Africa) 8-3, 3-5, 1-0; Lisa and Pete Bonsor (Spain) bt Ozkan and Rahsan Akar (Turkiye) 8-5, 9-6.


The Bailiff of Guernsey Sir Richard McMahon (right) with Alison Merrien MBE, president of the IIBC, and Steve Desperques, president of Guernsey Indoor Bowling Association at the World Bowls Indoor Championships opening. Credit: Sporting Hightlights

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