The first of the afternoon session in the ‘Just’ 2017 World Indoor Singles makes another slice of history as she faced up with seed 11, Mark Royal, from England. Royal has been in the top 16 for a number of years and most were forecasting that Wilford would go out in the first round, but the New Zealand lady proved them wrong. It was true that perhaps Royal was not on best form but this should not take away that Wilford did play some good bowls and was mostly able to find that killer bowl when it was needed.
In the first set it was Wilford that managed to get a grip on the rink and she was able to take full advantage from a struggling Royal, keeping the match to a 4 all draw at the end of the fifth Wilford went on score 3 doubles on the next three ends to take the first set 4-10. Into the second set and again it was Wilford that hung in there to draw level on the fourth end at 4 all again. On the 5th end Royal seemed to find himself and outplayed Wilford to take a 2 count, then Wilford played some great bowls in the next two ends to take to singles to level the set at 6 all. On end 8 it was Royal that played a killer bowl to take a single to go 1 up – then on the last end Wilford needed just a single to get a draw and all Royal had to do was also take a single to force a tie break. Wilfords last bowl sealed the end as Royal failed to take the score needed and Wilford goes through to the second round where she faces Paul Foster MBE.