23 January, 2017
After losing in three previous finals with Welsh counterpart Robert Weale, Cardiff’s Jason Greenslade at last got his hands on the ‘Just.’ World Indoor Pairs title while his new Melton Mowbray partner Les Gillett, celebrated regaining the title he won sixteen years ago with Australia’s Mark McMahon.
In today’s title decider at Potters Resort, there’s no doubt that Welsh qualifiers Daniel Salmon, 21 and 28 year old skip Damian Doubler , will look back on the title that slipped away from them. Leading 7-1 after six of the nine end set, Gillett and Greenslade rallied and reeled off three successive doubles to share the first set at 7-7.
The second set went along the same familiar vein with Salmon and Doubler taking a 5-0 three end lead only for lefthander Gillett and Greenslade to score a four followed. On the next Salmon and Doubler held a treble but Greenslade smacked the jack to the corner of the ditch to count a single and they added another two singles to go 7-5 ahead with two ends remaining. On the penultimate end Doubler trailed a displaced jack to the ditch but failed to capitalise on that with his last delivery to trail 7-6 with just one end to play.
In an emotional rollercoaster of a last end, Salmon played his part to perfection, drawing two bowls on top of the jack. Greenslade missed the head with his first, and with his second opened it slightly but still had a shot against him just over a foot away. With his last delivery, Doubler added a potential match winning second shot but that wasn’t as close as he had hoped it would be, landing about eighteen inches from the jack. However it was a game lie. But it was Greenslade and Gillett who were jumping for joy with Greenslade’s last delivery just creeping in to count that crucial shot and celebrate their narrow victory 8-6.
An emotional Greenslade said “All the years of pain at losing in my previous three finals all came flooding back when my last bowl was rolling down the rink. Everything was going through my mind in slow motion. It was all floating in front of me. “To be honest, Potters has never been a happy hunting ground for me so I hope that’s the monkey off my back now” he laughed, “Les has been a great partner. He’s got and ‘old head’ on him. He’s masterminded our success. He’s guided me and given me confidence to play all the right shots.” “I was disappointed that I didn’t play all that well in the final, but I played some important shost to win. I was buzzing to play that last shot and Les called me back down the rink and said “We’ll never get a better chance to win a world title” and that gave me time to calm down a bit. We are absolutely over the moon”.
21 year old Salmon and Doubler, 28, were understandably gutted to lose with Doubler saying “I know we had one hand on the title when we held that winning double on the last, but to be honest we didn’t think it was good enough. We left Jason just too much room to draw the shot.
“We’re just so disappointed at this moment – at losing the first set from 7-1 up and the second from 5-0 but we’ve had a good tournament and hopefully we’ll be back”.