Bruce and Denise Lidbury have made their way into yet another Mixed Pairs Championship Final after a very close struggle against Di Challice and Allan Etheredge. The multiple championship winners started well but the tone of the game was set by the 7th end when Challice and Etheredge had draw level at 6 all. The challengers had the better of the next section of play to open up a 13 – 9 lead by the 11th end.
Then came the first of two very critical ends. On the 12th end the Lidburys picked up 4 shots to make the score 13 all. Over the next 5 ends the lead changed three times before the scores where again tied at 17 all after 17 ends. Under pressure, Etheredge played a great attacking shot on the next end to ‘kill’ the end to maintain the score line. However the replay of the 18th end proved the key to the match. The Lidburys both played some great bowls to pick up 5 shots and jump to a 22 – 17 advantage.
With the job to do, Etheredge and Challice won the next end to narrow the lead to just 22 – 19. The Lidburys experience in big situations came to the fore in the last two ends. They combined beautifully to limit their opponents chances and managed to take a shot on each end to run out 24 – 19 winners. Congratulations to Challice and Etheredge for their great performances in this competition!
The Lidburys will play Pat and John Wagstaff in next week’s final after the Wagstaffs recovered from a slow start to overwhelm Carol and Doug Williams. The Williams started their semi-final in the same way that they finished their previous game. They won the first 5 ends – albeit by small margins – to be in a good position at 9 – 4 after 8 eight ends. The momentum of the game then changed. The Wagstaffs won the next 5 ends to move in front by 15 – 9 after 13 ends.. In this section of play John Wagstaff started to show his class with several outstanding bowls.
The Williams looked to be right back in the game when Doug played an excellent bowl to remove the shot bowl that resulted in his side picking up 5 shots and cutting the margin to just one shot after 14 ends. But alas, on the very next end the Wagstaffs replied in kind and restored their lead when they picked up 5 shots! They were then able to control the game and they moved into the final with an excellent 26 – 16 win!
Based on what we have seen over the last two rounds we can look forward to a great game in the final!!