There were three groups of four and on Day 1 they played each other team in the group in a round robin. The top eight teams went forward to Day 2. In their first game they played a team from Walkerton and were tied coming into the last end and were down when Nan had her final shot. In good skip fashion she made the winning shot to claim victory 13-12.
The next game, against Grand Cove, was not their best and they got off to a bad start before picking up their game but it was too little, too late and they lost that game. However, they knew that a win in their final game of the day would get them into the last eight to play a quarterfinal on Day 2. They had a comfortable 16-11 win and over dinner and over dinner that night planned strategy for the next day with expert input from their husbands (OK, I might have made up that bit).
It was pretty hot on Day 1 but Day 2 threatened to be even hotter, and I don’t mean just in terms of the weather! Now the games were elimination games – lose and you go home – win the quarter final and suddenly you are in with a chance of a medal.
The quarter final was against Hanover and it was nip and tuck all the way and with a one point lead going into the final end hope was temporarily dashed when Hanover scored to tie the game which meant an extra end. Some excellent bowls from all our team in the extra end gave them three points to get them into the semi final. Win the next game and they would be in the gold medal game and book a trip to the Canadian Seniors.
There was a saying in England by a couple of soccer pundits (Saint and Greavsie may mean something to some of you) that “It’s a funny old game” and the same is true of lawn bowling. The semi final was against the Nepean team which had scraped into Day 2 with a tie break win on Day 1 but in their quarter final beat Milton (undefeated on Day 1) 16-14.
Our ladies got off to a slow start and it was clear that the main threat on the Nepean team was their skip who was an ex Team Canada member. Several times when Cobourg was sitting with multiple shots she would score and although the team bowled well they were four down going into the last end and despite scoring two they lost 13-11. That meant playing in the bronze medal game instead of the gold silver game.
After five games in two days in temperatures in the mid thirties the bronze medal game was played against the Windsor team on rink #1 right by the clubhouse and right in front of a partisan crowd. There was no doubt that the Cobourg team had better bowlers but the combination of being on an outside rink (which seemed strange) playing against a home team told early on and it took over half the game before Cobourg got to grips with the rink and by that time they were trailing.
With five ends to go the score was 4-14. Not an impossible task, a score of two each end would tie the game. And they nearly did it. Windsor never scored again but it finished 12-14.
So that’s where the unmerriness came in but finishing fourth in Ontario is something that “The Merry Wives of Windsor” can be very proud of.
And I have to say that their husbands were also very proud of them.