Davis earns respect of Kiwi world champion in epic 30-end victory

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TEAM JERSEY’S lawn bowlers were back in action at Victoria Park, this time with Ross Davis getting his men’s singles pursuit under way, as brother Greg teamed up with Derek Boswell, Scott Ruderham and Malcolm De Sousa for the men’s fours.

Ross Davis and Boswell reached the quarter-final of the pairs before losing out to hosts England 19-6, so he was keen to get off to a quick start in the singles.

His first opponent, however, was Kiwi Shannon McIlroy, a stalwart of the game and current world champion.

The pair enjoyed an epic encounter that lasted 30 ends and came within moments of being timed out.

Davis surged towards the end of the match to take an 18-14 lead before McIlroy clawed his way back to lead 19-18.

With the New Zealander on the brink of winning, Davis displaced McIlroy’s bowl with his own to stay in the game.

He then rallied in the final end to close out the game 21-19.

Davis then quickly made it back-to-back wins with a 21-7 victory over Chris Locke from the Falkland Islands to ascend to the top of Group D.

The Jerseyman said: ‘It was a perfect start really. Shannon’s record speaks for itself and he has been performing on TV for a number of years.

‘It my first Commonwealth singles game and my first live match, so to come through that was special.

‘I went to sleep for a couple of ends in the middle of the match and gave him a chance to get back in.

‘But it came down to making some big bowls at the right moments and luckily I came out on top.

‘When I saved the game towards the end he [McIlroy] even gave me a fist bump, which was a very nice touch.

‘With what he has achieved in the game I have a lot of respect for him and he has no reason to show respect for me, but that’s what he did, which I think shows why he’s a great champion.

The men’s fours set about starting their competition in the same manner, however in Malta, they had an opposition determined to make life difficult for the Caesareans.

Jersey found themselves 9-4 down after eight ends of play and needed a spark.

The quartet duly found it, scored four in the next end and a further two in the tenth, to lead for the first time.

They would carry that momentum through, comfortably winning the tie 19-11 after 15 ends.

Jersey’s men’s fours, skipped by Malcolm de Sousa, then had to quickly gear up for an evening match against Games powerhouses Scotland.

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