Penny has been playing very well for a good while now and the blistering accuracy she showed in her semi final, against Norman, had Hand worried. Perhaps nerves played a part in this, her first final; luck played little part, both contenders keeping a very good line, throughout, but it was the third ‘L’, length, which was the difference, as Penny tended to be short, whether it was a twenty-seven or thirty-three yard jack, whilst Hans was very consistent.

In the first end, Penny would have taken second wood, but her last ran into the one wood Hans left short, giving him two. In the second, another thirty yarder, Hans was on the jack, whilst Penny had the next two woods, both perfect line, but short. 0-3 down now, the short wood, for once, worked in her favour, as she was promoted into shot by Hans, for 1-3, but the fourth end saw Penny again with second and third woods, perfect line, but short.

When Penny got her length about right, in the fifth, Hans pushed her out to take the shot, and her final wood, you guessed it, was a perfect line, but just short of where she needed to be. Penny was holding again, in the sixth, but Hans ran the jack to another of his woods, for two, and now he led 7-1. Hans held two, in the seventh end, before he again ran the jack, this time the contact losing him one shot, but the single took him to 8-1.

Penny was up against it, even though she had been getting into her stride, and with Hans at jack high at twelve and eighteen inches on a thirty-two yard eighth end, Penny’s last this time did have the right weight. Had she kissed Hans’ shot wood on the inside she would have taken shot – she kissed it on the outside, so second wood and 1-9 down, now. Only big wins would do from now on for Penny – she took the ninth end, but just the one shot, so that Hans was out of reach.

So, maybe next time for Penny, with a singles final now in her experience bank. For Hans, a second Wadsworth Shield victory, richly deserved, as he was there or thereabouts in every end, a model of consistency. And, despite some nerves on both players’ part, there were smiles, leg pulls and the very best of humour throughout.

Hans F & Doreen W Couples Champions 2014

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