Bowls star Winch soars into Commonwealth quarter-finals at Birmingham 2022

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Winch, 31, bounced back from her Gold Coast selection setback to book her place at Birmingham 2022
Winch, 31, bounced back from her Gold Coast selection setback to book her place at Birmingham 2022

By James Reid in Leamington Spa

Leicester lawn bowler Jamie-Lea Winch hailed another solid performance as her women’s fours team sailed into the quarter-finals at the Commonwealth Games.

Winch, alongside Sophie Tolchard, Natalie Chestney, and Sian Honnor, exhibited another dominant display to dispatch the Cook Islands 19-7 and top their group with style.

And 2014 silver medallist Winch believes the quarter just need to keep doing what they’re doing in their search for gold.

“It felt really good,” said Winch. “We’re halfway there now, we just need to keep this going.”

The Sapcote bowler has been in fine form in Leamington Spa, as her side has also brushed aside India and Canada en route to a perfect start to their Games.

But skip Sian Honnor believes there is plenty of room for improvement after a tricky task against the Cook Islands.

“There’s plenty left in the tank,” said Honnor. “The girls played well but we know we can take it up a notch and that’s exactly what we’ll be looking to do tomorrow.

“That was quite a different game for us tactically because of the way the Cook Islands play.

“We were aware of that before we started so it was very much about getting positional bowls which is quite a different game for us, but we knew it would be and we played it really well.”

England established an early led to go 8-0 up within four ends, a lead they never relinquished.

The Cook Islands are one of several small island nations competing in lawn bowls, including Niue, an associated territory of New Zealand, and Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia, and Chestney believes that the variety is good for the sport.

“They’re always a bit more unexpected, they don’t play in the same way as us in terms of tactics and shot selection which makes them dangerous.
“We went into that game knowing that, expecting it and I think we played quite tactically.

“It’s always good fun to play against different people and they were a nice bunch.”

“This is our home, you’ve got the crowd behind you, you can hear them shouting your name. It just spurs you on, it’s fantastic.”

There has never been a better time to discover bowls, truly a sport for everybody.  It is all to play for – discover more at www.bowlsengland.com

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