Merrien and Forrest to contest women’s world indoor singles final
This afternoon sees the final of the Just World Indoor Ladies Singles between Julie Forrest and Alison Merrien MBE.
Hawick’s Julie Forrest produced the shock of the tournament yesterday by knocking out defending champion Katherine Rednall 2-11 8-7 2-1.
Rednall has won the event three times and had previously only failed to reach the final once in five years, but she met her match in front of a capacity crowd as she surrendered a first-set lead to depart on the final end of a tie-break.
“It feels surreal, I cannot believe I am actually doing this, but I am absolutely delighted,” said an emotional Forrest. “Katherine played absolutely fantastic like I knew she would and I cannot believe I have got over the line. If you play the right bowls at the right time then you win your match.
“After the first set I thought, right clean slate, but when she got a three on the second end, I thought ‘oh well, here we go again’. But I hung in there and here we go.”
Forrest looked up against it from the off, with a confident-looking Rednall comfortably taking the first set 11-2, but despite landing an early treble in the second set, the tide turned as her Scottish opponent chipped away at her younger opponent.
She came from behind to eke out a narrow lead and held it for the rest of the set, triggering a best-of-three-ends shoot-out. First blood went to Forrest and Rednall captured the second, aided by a slice of fortune, not for the first time in the match. But the all-decisive third end went Forrest’s way after Rednall’s drive failed to produce the outcome she hoped for.
Rednall responded: “I got a really good rhythm going in the first set, but Julie really put the pressure on in the second, her first bowl was within six inches most ends and she really piled it on. It slipped away, I dropped a silly three, but then the tie-break goes anybody’s way.”
Forrest will meet Alison Merrien in a repeat of their 2011 semi-final clash, which Merrien won easily before going on to win her one and only title.
The Channel Islander got the better of three-time winner Ellen Falkner, who earlier in the week won the Mixed Pairs title with Robert Paxton.
Like Paxton, though, that success couldn’t spur her on to greater heights as she went out 9-4 9-3 in a game that Merrien dominated from start to finish.
The final will be shown LIVE on BBC2 at 1pm.