Eyebrows raised in Ballymena over absence of world champion from Jersey's bowls team

Sport | Published:

What on earth are the Jersey selectors up to? That is the question being asked by the players of the other four countries who are gathering in Ballymena in Northern Ireland for the women's home international outdoor series, which gets underway today.

If Jersey really have 24 players better than Lindsey Greechan, we had better look out,' they are muttering, as they congregate for the annual series and British Isles women's championships.As reported in February, the men of the Channel Islands (a combined team from Jersey and Guernsey) have lost their place in the men's series, because they proved to be out of their depth against world-class opposition.If Jersey's women, who are on their own in the women's series, are to avoid the same fate, it stands to reason that they must pick the best players - and can not afford to leave out anyone of world class.So, why-oh-why have they omitted Lindsey Greechan, the 22-year-old sensation, who picked up the world indoor under-25 singles title in Belfast last November?To be honest, it came as a bit of a surprise when Lindsey was omitted from the Island's Commonwealth Games team last year.

But that was before she won her world title - and at least she was in the eight-woman squad.Now she has proved herself to be, without doubt, one of the best achievers Jersey has ever produced in any sport.

So, not only does she deserve to be encouraged, Jersey actually needs her skill - big time.Absent, too, are other key players like Lorraine Murphy, who narrowly missed out on a medal in Manchester, Yvonne Andrews, who has two British Isles silver medals - and Lindsey's mum, Gina Le Long, who played well in last year's series.But Greechan's omission is even more surprising when viewed in the light of the departure of Sheila Syvret, for so long a tower of strength at world level, who has gone, with husband Alan, to live in Spain.The five newcomers who will be competing in their first series for Jersey are Margaret Le Sueur, Betty Thomas, Sheila McGinnigle, Joan Renouf and Myrtle Le Marquand.In the British individual championships, where eligibility is through winning Island titles rather than on the opinion of the selectors, Jersey's 2002 champions will be bidding for glory in singles, pairs, triples and fours.The luck of the draw has given all of Jersey's competitors a free ride through to the semi finals, where Brenda Foord in the singles and Myrtle de la Haye and Liz Cole in the pairs will meet the Scottish champions.Pat de Gruchy joins Myrtle and Liz in the triples to face a Welsh trio skipped by Betty Morgan, while Gene Vibert's Jersey quartet meet an all-international Welsh rink, skipped by Kathy Pearce.

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