Ceri Ann's bowling them over
SHE'S a woman beating the men at their own game - and she's on a roll. With her blonde hair and tanned good looks, 29-year-old Ceri Ann Davies has been cutting quite a dash at the world indoor bowls singles championship at Potters Leisure Resort, Hopton, near Yarmouth, an arena more accustomed to sober-looking gents of a certain age.
SHE'S a woman beating the men at their own game - and she's on a roll.
With her blonde hair and tanned good looks, 29-year-old Ceri Ann Davies has been cutting quite a dash at the world indoor bowls singles championship at Potters Leisure Resort, Hopton, near Yarmouth, an arena more accustomed to sober-looking gents of a certain age.
And the Welsh-born Australian's performances have caused even more of a stir, making her the first woman in the event's history to actually win a match - and then a second one - to set up an intriguing third-round encounter tomorr-ow with defending four-times champion Alex Marshall.
Ceri Ann, a Commonwealth Games silver medallist for her adopted country, broke off from practising yesterday to reflect on her historic run at the tournament.
She is totally unfazed at the prospect of being a trailblazer for women in the mould of golf's Michelle Wie and, many years before her, Formula One's Davina Galicia.
She said: “In this day and age I don't think sex and age should come into it but I am still really proud to be able to do this for the girls. That is one of the reasons this tournament is so amazing.”
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Ceri Ann said many of the male bowlers had never played a woman before and some seemed to have a mental block about it.
She confessed to the fact that Marshall - who incidentally will be facing his first female opponent - is one of her all-time heroes but said she would not have stepped on the plane unless she thought she could win the whole event.
Ceri Ann, who became only the third woman ever to qualify for the event after beating six top men in an Australian qualifier, arrived early from the 40C heat of Australia's Gold Coast to get accustomed to the surroundings, including Potters' electric blue rink, which contrasts startlingly with the traditional green surface.
Ceri Ann, who grew up in Port Talbot and was introduced to bowls by her grandparents at the age of five, studied psychology at Cardiff University and planned to pursue a career in it.
However, her best-laid plans were cast aside six years ago when she met Australian bowler Mark Casey at a tournament in Jersey and, after a whirlwind three-day romance, decided to emigrate, giving up everything including her car and job as a psychology lecturer.