WB / IIBC 2024 DAY 5

It was the final day of sectional play at this years World Champs. The team started in the mixed pairs before playing their respective singles matches.

The pairs fixture was a nail biting affair in the end, but after the first few ends it looked like they were in for a bit of a hammering. Firstly dropping big counts then allowing their Namibian opponents to get too far ahead to pull the score back, which is the problem in such short sets. The set ended 9-4. The second set however was the polar opposite! A new score board brings new hope and a new attitude. Caroline and Clive dominated the second set to win it 9-1 and take the game to the tie break. It wasn’t to be however and they just couldn’t take that final end, despite having the momentum with them.

Both were scheduled to play at the same time for their singles games, but it appears that the scheduling has been a bit difficult to keep on track this week. The delays disappointingly forced Caroline’s game off the televised rink, so we weren’t able to fully see her in what was going to be her last outing at this years event.

Caroline was playing Yvonne Oliver of Namibia, who she had just been able to size up in the pairs a short time earlier. Caroline started well but couldn’t quite make the early pressure count as Yvonne leveled the scores and pipped the set on the final end. This appeared to take the wind out of Caroline’s sails and the second set went almost entirely the way of the African. The match ended 7-5, 11-1. Despite the defeats, Caroline has demonstrated that she deserves to play at this level and I am sure she has got the bug and will be hungry to make another event in the future.

Clive took on Shannon McIllroy of New Zealand in what was billed as a top of the table clash. The winner would receive automatic qualification to the last 8. Early in the game Shannon controlled the 28m length which Clive struggled with on the day, which gave him a commanding and unassailable lead given how he was playing. Shannon took the set 11-2. In the second, Clive took a 4 on the second end and he must have thought that the game was on, only to have Shannon claim a 4 straight back! Each of the ends were tight thereafter with only a single shot being claimed each end. Time was running out for Clive as he needed a score, but it came to late when he did. He took another 4 but it wasn’t enough to win the end, only draw, which saw McIlroy claim the spoils. Shannon truly showed why he is a former world champion and it tipped to win this years event. Absolutely world class! That said, I can’t recall Shannon ever dropping two 4s in a 7 end set! There are loads of positives for Clive to take as he looks forward now to the knockouts.

Clive has been drawn to face Pete Bonsor of Spain in the playoff match. It will be televised on rink 5 from 10:45.