Sunderland bowler suffers narrow quarter-final defeat at Commonwealths

Sunderland bowler suffers narrow quarter-final defeat at Commonwealths

Sunderland bowler suffers narrow quarter-final defeat at Commonwealths

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

STUART AIREY thinks Saturday’s dramatic last-end defeat to Wales underlines just how tight the margins are in the Commonwealth Games lawn bowls tournament.

Sunderland-born Airey was part of the England triples team that suffered a 16-15 defeat to their home nation rivals to crash out of the competition at the quarter-final stage.

Having fallen 15-5 behind after a disappointing start, England clawed their way back to level the scores in the penultimate end.

However, Wales claimed a point in the final end to progress to the last four, and leave the English trio wondering about what might have been.

“We got off to a bad start again and ended up being a long way down in the game,” said Airey. “But we managed to get the shots back, changed our length and got on top of them.

“We could see they were going a bit and we were in total control in the last six ends to make sure it was all square heading into the last.

“We laid a good head, but it turned into one of those nightmare situations where Jamie (Chestney) had the jack in the ditch and it bounced and rolled out by just two inches.

“It’s hard to bear, but there are fine lines between winning medals and not winning medals, and that was evident out there.”

Airey returns to action in the men’s fours, and is confident there will be no hangover from Saturday’s agonising disappointment.

“We just need to pick ourselves up now,” he said. “It’s difficult when you suffer a loss like that, but we just have to come out and start afresh.”

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