NEW WINNERS IN THE 2018 PAIRS FINAL

Terry played in the final of the Terry Fisher Pairs, the competition he had sponsored, playing with Pat (Sayer) against Mary and Mark. And with Pat and Terry holding four in the first end it looked like a dream start till Mary took shot with her last wood. In the second end Terry moved the jack a couple of inches and that was the wood that retained shot to tie the scores at 1-1.

Mark set the pace with shot at eighteen inches in the third end. Pat had all three of her woods within a yard but crucially none closer than Mark and he and Mary took the lead at 2-1. The fourth end with a full length jack saw each pair take shot several times, Mary in shot as Pat delivered the final wood of the end. It looked good, as well, but unluckily it clashed with a running wood on the neighbouring rink, just too far down the rink (these days!) for Brian to intervene. Bowling the wood again, she could not find the line or weight and on a measure second wood went to Mark for his pairing to lead 4-1.

The fifth end saw several woods within eighteen inches, Mary with shot at six inches. Pat’s final wood came so close, making contact with Mary’s shot wood but just the wrong side of centre and rolling away from the jack; 5-1 to Mary and Mark. Mark held shot throughout end six to hold, just, for 6-1. Just seven shots scored in those six ends, so close but Mary and Mark building up a useful lead.

Ends seven and eight had Pat and Terry each scoring a shot to reduce the lead to 6-3, then Mary and Mark each scoring a shot to restore the five shot lead at 8-3. And for a moment they held five shots in end nine till Pat took third wood, but at 10-3 with two ends to play Mary and Mark were almost home, just a single shot in the penultimate end would seal it. But Pat would not have that and took shot so that the final end had to be played – she and Terry now needed all six shots to take the match into an extra end.

It was a lot to ask. Pat was on fire, all three if her woods within two feet of the jack, but Mary and Mark had bowled some decent woods, too, so it was just those three scoring shots for final margin of 10-7 to Mary and Mark. Remarkably the final had followed the same pattern as most of this year’s competition matches – half, or more, of the match with one team building up a big lead, if only by just a shot each end, then a strong comeback by their opponents, though on this occasion it was not quite enough. Disappointment for Pat and Terry, who have a fair few trophies between them already, and certainly had a good attempt at securing another. But well played Mary and Mark, first time RBBG winners, coming through some tight matches with very strong performances throughout the competition.