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No stopping Rednall as she creates another piece of history on the rinks

PUBLISHED: 19:12 26 January 2017 | UPDATED: 21:01 26 January 2017

Katherine Rednall with her trophy. Photo: David Rhys Jones

Katherine Rednall with her trophy. Photo: David Rhys Jones

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The 21-year-old fashion and textile student from Ipswich was already the reigning champion of the World Indoor Bowls Council (WIBC) at junior and senior level, and she created history last winter when she achieved the British women’s indoor junior and senior singles double.

Ellen Falkner, red, and Katherine Rednall await the result of a measure.
Photo: David Rhys Jones Ellen Falkner, red, and Katherine Rednall await the result of a measure. Photo: David Rhys Jones

Now, Katherine Rednall, who, as they say, bowls like a machine, has won the Just World Women’s Matchplay singles title for the second time on the portable rink at Potters Resort in Hopton-on-Sea.

“It’s been a good year,” she said, mastering the understatement.

After beating her good friend, Norfolk star Bex Field, 6-4, 6-4, in the quarter final, Rednall reached the final with an 8-3, 8-4 straight sets win over another England team-mate Amy Stanton, then outplayed serial title-winner Ellen Falkner, 10-5, 10-6, to win the title.

No one managed to win a set against the pocket dynamo, who celebrated her 21st birthday just a few days before hostilities broke out at Potters less than two weeks ago.

Falkner, who was hoping to win the title for what would have been a record fourth time, will have been bitterly disappointed that she did not run Rednall closer, but was magnanimous in defeat.

“It’s not about me,” she insisted. “Today is all about Katherine, and she was magnificent.”

An outstanding bowler with an enviable record, the 37-year-old Falkner has won three Commonwealth Games gold medals, but is becoming a well-known figure off the green, too, as CEO of the UK arm of the Australia-based Aero Bowls, who make and distribute bowls and bowls gear.

In fact, Falkner started well, and, in a close encounter, was only one shot adrift after six ends, but it was Rednall who took charge with a double on the seventh end and a treble on the eighth to win the first set by five shots.

“She came back at me at the start of the second set,” recalled Rednall. “I found myself 4-0 down after three ends, and 5-2 down after five, and had to work hard to get on top.”

The next three ends settled it, with Rednall collecting a game-changing count of four on the sixth end, followed by a single and a double to lead, 9-5, after eight ends – and it was all over two ends later.

Both finalists belong to bowling families, and both have had conspicuous success on their own and with members of their families at national and international level.

Falkner, who won back-to-back Matchplay titles in 2003 and 2004, and lifted the title again last year, has won national titles with mum Sue Alexander, and her late grandmother, while all four of Rednall’s grandparents played, and she has won national titles with her mother, Christine.

Rednall’s dad John is a long-serving England international, who has specialised in the lead position in a remarkable ongoing career that started in 1987. A music teacher, he was unable to be at rink-side for his daughter’s latest triumph, but rushed to Hopton to congratulate her when school was over.

“I have a portfolio to submit, based on denim, when I get back to Uni in Colchester, and I’ve been working flat-out on that in between rounds at Potters,” said Rednall. “I have to confess it was on the back-burner today, but it’s nearly finished, and I will get down to it in earnest tomorrow.”

The new world champion also works part-time at the Felixstowe Golf Club, and a group of her colleagues made the trip to Hopton to watch her complete her latest triumph.

“Now I’m looking forward to representing England in the women’s home international series in Belfast from 10 to 11 March,” Rednall added. “That’s entirely different, because it’s a team game, and I have been picked on a new-look rink this time, so it’s quite exciting.

In the 15-year history of the World Matchplay singles, the title has been won 10 times by English competitors. Two Australians have won it, along with one each from Scotland, Wales and Guernsey.

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