Rachel MacDonald, 16-year-old sister of Jamie MacDonald, admitted to feeling nervous, but hid it well as she racked up a convincing 21-5 victory over Ireland’s junior champion Ashley Rainey in the semi finals of the under 25 singles championship.
The Irish girl scored a treble to level the scores, 3-3, after three ends, but Rachel showed no mercy as she piled up 18 shots over the next ten ends, while dropping only two singles.
‘Rachel learnt a lot when she played in the Test match series against England last October,’ said her room-mate and mentor Lindsey Greechan, whose pairs semi final encounter was put on hold until this morning.
‘She needs events like that to extend her experience, and playing here this week will do her the power of good,’ added Greechan.
‘Just look at the way she played once she managed to control those nerves.’ In today’s final, MacDonald faces Annalisa Bellamy, a 19-year-old university student from Lincolnshire, who claimed a similar 21-6 victory over Scottish champion Nicola Barclay.
Jersey trio Margaret Andrieux, Joan Renouf and Margaret Le Sueur looked well in the game against Welsh teenagers Marie-Claire McCulloch, Kerry Packwood and Kelly Packwood, when they led 12-9 after 12 ends in the quarter final of the triples.
But the game slipped away from them, as the Welsh trio turned the screw, scoring three trebles and three singles over the next six ends for a 21-12 victory.
Meanwhile, Merrien, generally regarded to be a world-class player, managed to score only six shots against four-times England champion Carol Ashby, who was delighted to avenge her defeat in last year’s final.
An unprecedented whitewash appeared on the cards when Ashby led 17-0, after only eight ends, but Merrien pluckily kept the England star out there for another nine ends, before reluctantly signing a 21-6 scorecard.