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Norfolk faces Suffolk as Field and Rednall clash in women’s matchplay singles final

PUBLISHED: 21:53 24 January 2018 | UPDATED: 21:53 24 January 2018

Bex Field on her way to victory over Janice Gower. Picture: David Rhys Jones

Bex Field on her way to victory over Janice Gower. Picture: David Rhys Jones

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The World Women’s Matchplay Singles final at Potters on Thursday is a repeat of the 2014 final – and has a definite East Anglian flavour, with defending champion Katherine Rednall, from Ipswich, facing a challenge from Bex Field, who plays for the Norfolk bowls club in Norwich.

Four years ago, Field, then aged 24, was the defending champion, but the remarkable Rednall, who was only 18, upstaged her, winning at a canter, 14-4, 11-3.

Both players have gone on to enhance their reputations, and have cemented their places in England teams indoors and out, while Rednall is one of five women who will be carrying England’s hopes in the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast in April.

On Wednesday, in the first semi final, Rednall turned on the style and completely outbowled Scotland’s Lesley Doig, who on Tuesday helped Norfolk-born Jamie Chestney win the World Mixed Pairs title.

Doig and Rednall know each other well, having come through the junior ranks in Scotland and England respectively, and could be described as close friends and keen rivals. The 26-year-old Scot had outplayed the Suffolk star in the mixed pairs semi-finals, but yesterday the boot was on the other foot.

The anticipated close contest never materialised, as Rednall bowled like a machine, dominating Doig from start to finish, and scoring on 10 of the 15 ends played, including a full house of four shots on the first end of the second set, for a 10-4, 13-2 scoreline.

On Wednesday night, in a game of two halves, Field, who faced Blackpool’s Janice Gower, defeated the former winner of the English national pairs title, 11-4, 7-8, 2-0.

Field was always in charge in the first set, but we then witnessed a classic case of SSS (Second Set Syndrome) where the winner of the first set relaxes, and the loser redoubles his or her efforts in a bid to stay in contention.

Gower’s game improved, while Field’s faltered, and it all depended on a tense tie-break, in which the fate of the first two ends depended on the result of an official measure – and both times, a green bowl got the decision by a fraction of an inch.

On Thursday night, Field’s fiancee Wayne Willgress will attempt to nail a place in the quarter-finals of the Open Singles, when he takes on Scotland’s 2013 champion Stewart Anderson.

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