Bowls:Brave Lowery bows out in Belfast

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With Irish champion John Boyd winning all his matches, the second place in the group was at stake, with a place in the semi finals going to the winner, as King and Lowery took to the rink under the watchful eye of the television cameras.

‘That was a cracker of a match,’ said Lowery, after King had returned an 8-7, 9-7 card.

‘I should be disappointed at losing, but I can’t be, because it was a real pleasure to play in.’ King said: “I was delighted with the way I played – but John pushed me all the way.

In fact, he was often unlucky, finding small gaps to run through with some of his best bowls.

It was a great game.’ Lowery opened with two doubles, and was 7-6 ahead in the first set after 7 ends, only for King to snatch the set with two singles.

‘I was so close on that last end,’ sighed Lowery ‘With the score at 7-7, I played four great bowls, but kept on going through the gap.

I didn’t necessarily feel I should have won the set, but you could certainly say it could have gone either way!’ Although he dropped two shots on the first end of the second set, when his bowls again found the gaps, Lowery powered into a 5-3 lead by the fifth end, but dropped three doubles to trail 5-9, before clawing back a double on the 9th end.

In today’s semi finals, King was lined up to play Scotland’s British champion Iain McLean, while local hope Boyd faced Guernsey’s Gary Pitschou.

In the women’s event, Jersey’s Gaynor Thomas, lost her last group match in straight sets to Malaysia’s Azlina Arshad, and failed to make it into the last four.

Holder Margaret Letham, from Scotland, came through unbeaten, and will take on England’s Carol Ashby in the semi finals, while Guernsey’s Alison Merrien plays another Scot, Claire Johnston, from Auchinleck.

In Warilla, New South Wales, Jersey’s Christine Grimes claimed two more scalps yesterday in the World Cup, which is being staged by rival body World Bowls Limited.

Having struggled to beat China’s Elisa Cheung on a tiebreak, 8-5, 7-8, 2-0, Grimes showed her best form after lunch to outplay fancied Aussie Judy Nardella, 10-7, 3-10, 2-0, keeping alive her hopes of a place in the quarter finals.

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