Priaulx and Le Ber on maximum points

FONDNESS for the threatened ‘Northern’ green at Delancey will not have been high among the visitors as the wind picked up and rain came down during both morning and afternoon sessions yesterday in the European Bowls Championships.

Todd Priaulx and his Swedish opponent await the next bowl into the head at Delancey yesterday. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 25860596)
Todd Priaulx and his Swedish opponent await the next bowl into the head at Delancey yesterday. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 25860596)

Not a beautiful liner in site in the Little Russel and you could barely pick out Herm and Jethou across a choppy stretch of sea.

But the hardened Guernsey boys did not seem too bothered, opening their challenge with wins over Sweden, Israel and Cyprus. Maximum points with four matches to go.

While most donned the waterproofs, Todd Priaulx and Matt Le Ber stood steadfast in shorts and polo shirts, their terrific form concentrating the mind.

Admittedly, tougher tests await, namely Isle of Man, Ireland, England and the two Welshmen representing the President’s Select, but Guernsey could not have asked for more from this well-travelled duo.

Forty-eight hours earlier the green looked fantastic in the late summer sunshine, but the transformation was as marked as the different class Priaulx and Le Ber operated at in defeating the Swedes and Israel.

They were particularly pleased to get past the experienced and dangerous Israeli duo of Danny Slodownik and Allan Saitowicz, more used to 30C and sun.

The Israeli duo had travelled more than 2,000 miles to play here, Priaulx about 250 yards from across the park.

‘It was a really good game for us and we started well in each set and built on that,’ said Priaulx, who is playing lead this week.

‘We were finding some good lengths and if I had woods in the head Matt was converting,’ he added.

‘I have played Danny before,’ said Le Ber.

‘They have been around, I have seen them at events before and they are going to take points off people this week, which is going to help us out,’ added the skip.

‘Everything clicked,’ Priaulx said.

As for the win over the Swedes, the Sarnian duo said it was not straightforward.

‘We were getting woods in the head but they were converting well and we had to watch where the jack could possibly go, so we had to play a few defensive bowls,’ said Priaulx.

‘They were unpredictable so you have to try and think of everything that could happen,’ said his colleague.

‘We had to figure it out really,’ said Priaulx, although they were never behind in the match.

As for the clash against the Cypriots Bob Manson and Loukas Paraskeva, the Sarnian duo emerged 10-5, 12-1 victors in foul conditions which even forced them into wearing tracksuit tops for the afternoon.

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