Bowls bounce back

Malcolm de Sousa was victorious in the U35 event, beating Guernsey's Shaun Bichard 21-7 Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37810583)

REVENGE was sweet for the Jersey Bowls team as they regained the inter-insular title from Channel Island rivals Guernsey.

The Jersey Bowls Stadium at Grainville played host to a fantastic weekend of competitive bowls, with Jersey selector and player Lee Nixon “delighted” with his team’s performance.

“Losing to Guernsey last year really stung,” he said.

“We made a real conscious effort this year to make sure we picked as strong a team as possible to try and regain the crown and everyone stepped up to the occasion brilliantly.”

Among those to step up was Jersey’s own British Isles champion and former World champion, Thomas Greechan. Of the two matches he competed in, both triples events, he and his teammates were victorious in emphatic fashion.

Nixon added: “Tommy [Greechan] made himself available for us, which was such a big boost, having a player of such quality in our corner.

“Taking a healthy lead on the first day sent us on our way to the overall win and he was instrumental to that.”

The women’s pairing of Gaynor Thomas and Diane Canavan were the first Caesarean team to put points on the board on the opening day, with a narrow 24-21 win over Sarnian counterparts Catherine Bonsall and Jill Froome. The pair repeated the trick in the afternoon, defeating Guernsey star Ali Merrien and Michele De Carteret 20-10.

The Caesarean trio of Malcolm de Sousa, Luke Le Sueur and Gus Hodgetts were responsible for the biggest score of the weekend, as they swept aside Ian Merrien, Josh Bonsall and Alan Merrien with a massive 32-11 win, to give Jersey a 6-2 overall advantage at the end of the first day.

“I think we sent a real statement,” added Nixon.

“We wanted to come out strong and show them we were there to win and we all but completed that goal on day one, which was extremely pleasing.”

As well as the overall inter-insular contest, there were individual contests for Channel Island crowns.

Guernsey were victorious in the Veterans Singles through Gary Pitschou, the Mixed Pairs thanks to Ali and Ian Merrien and the Open Triples courtesy of Shaun Bichard, Brad Le Noury and star Welshman Jason Greenslade.

The closing day was largely one-way traffic for the hosts in the inter-insular, winning four of their six matches, highlighted by a 26-13 demolition job by the women’s doubles pair Katie Nixon and Babs Kittleson over Bonsall and Froome.

Having already sealed the overall victory with their morning efforts, the afternoon contests were still played to a high standard with the Jersey pairings determined to play at full strength.

Both the female pairing of Kim Hutchings and Abby Andrieux and the men’s trio of Ross Davis, Cyril Renouf and Mark Hamilton won their matches.

The final standings read that Jersey’s ladies had won 10-6 and the men 13-3.

Caesarean home dominance continued in the U35 singles event, as Malcolm de Sousa took home the individual accolade by beating Shaun Bichard 21-7.

“Although we are delighted with the win, the contest was very competitive,” Nixon concluded.

“The standard of bowls in the Channel Islands is clearly extremely high and is showing no signs of letting up.

“The whole weekend was contested in wonderful spirits and there was a large crowd of supporters watching the whole time which was brilliant to see.

“We’d like to extend a massive thank you to Guernsey for a great contest and an excellent weekend.

“We’re looking forward to travelling to their back garden next year to do it all again.”

Jersey Bowls Squads

Men’s: Thomas Greechan, John Lowery, Lee Nixon, Alex Stewart, Malcolm de Sousa, Peter Le Long, Derek Boswell, Luke Le Sueur, Gus Hodgetts, Ross Davis, Brad Vowden, Cyril Renouf , Mark Hamilton, Pat McConnell, Marcus Job

Women’s: Gaynor Thomas, Diane Canavan, Katie Nixon, Babs Kittleson, Kim Hutchings, Abby Andrieux, Fiona Archibald, Lorraine Plante

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