Le Poullain as pleased as Punch and Beere in semis

GUERNSEY’S medal hopes were boosted in Birmingham yesterday thanks to the brilliance and bravery of Billy Le Poullain and Lucy Beere.

Hugely-popular boxer Le Poullain edged a 3-2 split decision verdict against Northern Ireland’s Jake Tucker in the NEC to reach the quarter-finals while lawn bowls star Beere is now one win away from the women’s singles final at Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa.

Last evening she came through a nip-and-tuck last-eight encounter with Katelyn Inch of New Zealand 21-16 to set up a semi-final at noon today with Malaysia’s Siti Zalina Ahmad.

‘The dream is still going,’ said Beere.

‘I felt like I was playing some really crucial bowls at the right time.

‘But I am shattered. I feel like I’ve gone through a marathon of emotions and the support is just amazing.

‘I was in awe because I had Dame Mary [Perkins] there and I had the Bailiff and I was like “wow, all these really important people coming to watch me”, but then they keep saying “you’re the celebrity Lucy” and I’m like “well, I’m not really too sure about that”.’

Le Poullain enjoyed a terrific first round against Tucker, knocking down his opponent early on and seemingly doing likewise later in the 3min. period only for the referee to rule it a slip.

Tucker responded well in the second to take the round and set up a dramatic final round, but Le Poullain’s late attacks swayed it with the judges, much to his delight.

‘Australia [Gold Coast 2018] did not go as well as we’d have hoped, but to get my first win, I’m ecstatic,’ he said.

‘I thought in the first round was two knock downs, [it was a] bit strange the referee didn’t score them to me, but I thought it was on the last 30 seconds of the fight.

‘Going into that last round I knew I had given that second round away with too many clean shots, so I knew it was all to play for.

‘I had to just stay disciplined and try and do what Ben [Duff] was shouting from the corner.’

On leaving the ring following his victory, Le Poullain was handed an Alderney flag by his mother to drape around his shoulders.

‘I’ve got Guernsey on my chest and I’ve got Alderney on my back – I’m honoured to be able to represent both,’ he said.

‘I’ve got aunties and my uncle and some cousins that are here today, so it’s really nice to have that support ... and, of course, my mum, who’s travelled all the way from Alderney on her own.

‘I could hear her and she’s the one who gave me the Alderney flag, so she will be bursting with pride.’

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