Jersey quartet lose out in thrilling finish

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Drawn in the quarter-finals of three out of five disciplines, the Island’s champions got through in only one – the under 25 singles, in which Jamie MacDonald had an unsatisfactory walk-over against Ireland’s Richard Leonard.

‘I would have preferred to play,’ MacDonald said.

‘Now I’ve got to wind myself up for today’s junior singles semi-final encounter with Matt Le Ber, from Guernsey, without any preparation – before facing Billy Mellors in the senior singles in the afternoon.’ MacDonald spent most of yesterday in Le Ber’s company, watching various Channel Islanders challenging for places in the semi finals of five events.

His father, Roddy MacDonald, was involved in the day’s most exciting finish, in which a Guernsey quartet edged home, 16-15, on the last end to reach the semi-finals of the fours.

MacDonald, senior, and Kenny McNeil formed the front end of the Jersey four, while Billy McPhee replaced Peter Le Long at third man, and Ian ‘Skippy’ Hodgetts, carried the can at skip.

When Jersey led 7-1, prospects looked bright, but Guernsey overhauled them to lead, 15-10 with only four ends left to play, only for Jersey to level the scores at 15-15 after 20 ends.

Australian-born Hodgetts killed the last end when Guernsey held shot, and was unlucky that the jack went ‘over the string’, but worse luck followed on the replay, as McPhee’s brave attempt to ditch the jack clipped it sideways to a Guernsey bowl, which remained shot for the rest of the end.

‘It was a tough match – and a tough way to go out,’ said Hodgetts.

‘But that’s bowls.’ The ever-reliable Frank Hambly, partnered by substitute Don Le Quesne, who replaced the indisposed Chummy Poree, admitted that they had come up against a fine English pair at the top of their form.

‘Greg (Moon) and Gary (Lucas) were absolutely brilliant, and we did well to compete,’ Hambly said, after the Jersey duo had lost, 22-10.

‘It was a good match, and the English guys were a pleasure to play against.’ Today, MacDonald has two chances of glory – in the senior and junior singles – while Kenny Sillars, John Lowery and Alan ‘AQ’ Quemard take on the Scottish champions for a place in the triples final.

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