The last of the quarter finals here saw the top No 1 ranked lady on the PBA Ranking list, Janice Gower, who is the current reigning English Ladies National Champion facing England International Ellen Falkner who has previously won the Ladies World Singles Title three times. Gower has also previously been one of only a few ladies that have managed to get through to the last 32 of the World Indoor Open Singles Championship.
First set and it was Gower that got the match started taking two singles on the first two ends before Falkner found the pace but end three saw a rapid turn-around as Falkner lay three, Gower ran at it with her last bowl, just missed and Falkner calmly slotted in another for four. Gower then managed to hold a single count on both ends four and five to level the score at four all in end five. Falkner though, got the better of Gower in ends six and seven, with a double and then a treble to go 9,4 up leaving Gower chasing the score. Gower managed to hold off Falkner in end eight with a single leaving a great task of finding four shots in end nine to level the score. At one stage it looked as if this might be the case as she lay a possible three count, but Falkner played a great bowl and shut this down, and Gower could only get a two. First set to Falkner 9,7.
Second set and Gower again started well, taking a count of three in the first end and a single in end two. Falkner responded with two on end three but it was Gower that picked up the game a bit better as she took a single and then a full house of four in the next two ends. End six and Gower lay two, possibly three with the jack close to the respot and Falkner had back woods near the ditch, she drove right at the jack through a difficult line, picked it up clean and took it straight into the ditch with an incredibly brave shot – this gave her a set saving count of four to take the set score to 6,9 to Gower. A massive shot difference turnaround with a single bowl.
End seven and it was Falkner that came away with a single, end eight Gower just could not get the jack to stay with her bowl despite three great bowls, all precisely on target, and it was Falkner that picked up another two shots to draw the set level at 9 all. The tension in the arena was palpable as in end nine Falkner held game with shot bowl literally side on to the jack with a small gap, Gower elected to drive with her second to last bowl and it looked right on target and then to the amazement of most it just went through the gap between jack and bowl ! Falkner put her last bowl in deep cover on the ditch bank and Gower had no option but to drive again – this time though she was wide and it was second set and match to Falkner who goes through to face Alison Merrien MBE in the semi final next Wednesday.