EIBA national finals: Melton IBC pair curse their luck in quarter-final exit

Chris Rodgers and Les Gillett who reached the pairs quarter-finals at the EIBA National Indoor Championships EMN-150504-133422002
Chris Rodgers and Les Gillett who reached the pairs quarter-finals at the EIBA National Indoor Championships EMN-150504-133422002
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Melton pair Chris Rodgers and Les Gillett were left cursing their luck as fortune deserted them once more at the business end of the national finals.

Home hopes were high of a first national pairs title, particularly after the Melton Indoor Bowls Club team eased through rounds one and two with little trouble.

But their run ended during a marathon quarter-final last Saturday which ended at 10pm with an 18-16 victory for the Swale pair of Roger Kendrick and England international Perry Martin.

While Rodgers admitted they hadn’t hit their very best form, he believed their performance still merited what would have been a third national semi-final for the pair.

He said: “I thought we played well enough to win the quarter-final and I don’t think the opposition skip played very well at all, but they were very fortunate.

“When we were in good positions, pretty much every time, the opposition skip was off target, but somehow got a fortunate result.

“There were a lot of apologies going around because they recognised they were being fortunate. They said they had lost in similar fashion before so they believed it was payback.

“I knew we could have played better, but wasn’t disappointed with the way we played overall. You just can’t legislate for luck.”

The ?? team opened up a 5-3 lead after five ends, but Rodgers and Gillett fought back to hold a slender 10-9 advantage by the 10th end.

A nip-and-tuck match was all-square at 13-13 after 15, and with three ends remaining, the game was finely poised at 15-14 to the visitors.

Rodgers added: “We had an unfortunate result on end 18 when we were three or four shots up.

“The other skip was again off target, but somehow ended up being five up himself. We won the end by one, but should’ve done better.

“But the turning point was the 19th end when we dropped a three to go four shots down with only two ends to play.

“That was probably the one end we felt we should’ve played better.”

The home pair opened with a comprehensive 29-12 win over Portsmouth club Victory on Friday evening and eased past Acle 23-17 the following morning to set up their quarter-final encounter.

But once more the championships ended with a what-if rather than the silverware for Rodgers who will switch his national ambitions to the outdoor game this summer with Holwell Sports clubmate Neil Hope.

He added: “I have been to the pairs semi-finals and quarter-finals a handful of times now without making the final.

“We’re still waiting for our share of luck.

“But we will keep being persistent and it will come. We enjoy playing the game and I think it’s all that matters.”