If you didn’t manage to stay the pace to watch the last of the first round matches on the ‘Just.’ Open Pairs then you certainly missed a match that had everything and was of the highest calibre.
Scotland’s Stewart Anderson, who won this title in 2016 with his regular partner Darren Burnett had to call on the skills England’s Katherine Rednall after Police Constable Burnett was injured in the line of duty and had to call off from the event.
Rednall though, who is 7 months pregnant, didn’t disappoint and neither did the qualifying partnership of Jack Bird and Stuart Irwin, as they dished up the tastiest match of the round with a high quality encounter which must have kept our internet audience on the edge of their seats before Bird and Irwin swung the verdict on a tie break to progress 5-8, 6-4, 2-1.
The drama ebbed and flowed with Anderson drawing the winner with his last bowl of the first set and then Irwin – a tad fortuitous saving a match lie on the second set to push the match to a sudden best of three end shoot out which the English lads won 2-1.
‘That was an unbelievable match’ said Irwin afterwards. “when we saw the draw and then heard that Darren Burnett had been forced to withdraw we thought ‘ok that’ll suit us’. But when Katherine started dropping them in – she was absolutely superb – she played a storm.
“You just never knew what was going to happen. I think all four players were on top form. It must have been a great game to watch. We’re just happy that’s we’ve made it to the next round and are looking forward to that challenge”.
They clash with Mervyn King and David Gourlay in the second quarter final match tomorrow at 2pm (Sunday 10th January).
“JUST” World Open Pairs
Jack Bird & Stuart Irwin bt Katherine Rednall & Stewart Anderson 5-8, 6-4, 2-1