Talented teenager Jamie MacDonald, for example, came up against one of the world’s best in Ryan Bester, a young Canadian who won the world pairs title on these very Northfield greens in 2004.
MacDonald led briefly early on, and, although he trailed for most of the match, he showed character to charge into the lead at 18-17, only for Bester to get home, 21-18, with a brace of doubles.
After lunch, on a rain-soaked green, he chalked up his first win in his round robin campaign, beating Gerry Jones, from Portugal, 21-18, and is looking forward to his last group match against Ireland’s Clifford Craig this morning.
Although this fascinating clash is really part of the group programme, it is effectively a knockout encounter – whoever wins will earn a place in tomorrow’s quarter finals.
Gaynor Thomas, too, earned praise for her displays against world-class opponents.
First she took Israel’s Ruti Gilor to 21-19, then gave the defending champion, Kay Moran, a run for her money, before the Scot got home, 21-15.
Gilor, who has been in fine form, raced into a 15-4 lead, but Thomas held her ground, and made inroads, scoring on eight of the eleven ends to reduce the deficit to a single shot at 19-20.
Against Moran, who naturally had the support of the gallery behind her, the scores were level at 4-4, 5-5, 6-6 and 7-7, and the Scot was only one shot ahead, 15-14, after 20 ends.
Thomas managed only one more shot, and Moran picked up a single, a double and a treble to win, 21-15 – so, despite her fine performances, Thomas’s chances of qualifying for the last eight appear slim.
However, she finds herself in a seven-strong group, and, with two matches, she could yet make the cut – though she is sure to encounter tough opposition from England’s Doreen Hankin and Ireland’s Jennifer Dowds.
It was a good day for Jersey’s fours, skipped by Thomas and Lindsey Greechan – the men, who lost to Wales in the morning, recorded a comprehensive 27-5 win over Israel on a rainy afternoon, while the women, who had a bye before lunch, were delighted with their 34-11 dismissal of Guernsey.