First of today’s matches was between European PBA Ranked No 3 and World Ranked No.17, Wayne Willgress, and the three times World Indoor Champion, the Statesman of Bowls, Andy Thomson MBE. It was a much anticipated match as Willgress just needed this match to assist him to gain entry into the Worlds top 16 and Thomson needed it just as much in order to stay in the Worlds Top 16.
First set, first end and it was Willgress that took a hard fought single from Thomson but it was Thomson that took the next three ends with two singles and a double. It was obvious that he was in top form and Willes was having to find some hard shots just to keep pace with him. Three down and Willgress played a great final bowl to take a single in end five but Thomson responded in similar vein in end six to take a double. Set score 6,2 to Thomson. It was Willgress that just had to find some great bowls and he did, the next two ends he managed to hang on to two singles but it Thomson that again thwarted the man from Norfolk in the final end eith a great placed bowl that Willgress just could not get to to take a single and the first set. 7,4.
Second set and Thomson first out of the blocks with a single but it was Wayne that was performing well, taking the next five ends with a total of eight shots to take the score to 1,8. Thomson was not giving up though and takes two shots in end seven and in end eight had three bowls round the jack, Willgress fired and missed, Thomson calmly draws in a fourth and Willes goes again and misses, four shots to Thomson. Set score now 7,9 to Willgress who takes another single in end nine with his last bowl to force the tie break.
Thomson was still calm and it was he that withstood the onslaught of the first end to come away with a single and promptly sets the challenge with a good lead bowl in the second end. Willgress did everything he could but it was Thomson that took the final score and match, 7,4 – 7,9 – 2,0.