Rollings delivers honest assessment after suffering early Commonwealth defeat

·2-min read
The Games got underway in stunning style at the Alexander Stadium on Thursday night
The Games got underway in stunning style at the Alexander Stadium on Thursday night

By James Reid in Birmingham

Kieran Rollings is refusing to make excuses after a mixed start to his Commonwealth Games para lawn bowls men’s pairs campaign with partner Craig Bowler.

The duo were defeated 23-12 by Scotland’s Garry Brown and Kevin Wallace before bouncing back with a 19-11 win over New Zealand to end day one on a high.

But Kettering star Rollings isn’t looking for the easy way out at Victoria Park in Leamington Spa, a green he has played on many times before.

“This is my second Games so I understand what the crowds are like, understand the playing venues,” said Rollings, who was just 18 when he competed at the 2018 Gold Coast Games, coming fourth in the men’s triples.

“This is a home green, we’re here every year at Leamington, it’s a nice venue to be at.

“Obviously there’s a little bit of pressure from the home crowd on your first game but you get into the swing of it in the next few games.”

Rollings and Bowler got off to a disappointing start with defeat to Scotland, a game that they rarely looked like winning.

But the pair bounced back in style, stretching into an 11-1 lead against New Zealand before fending off a comeback to bring home their maiden victory of the Games.

“It’s disappointing losing your first match but Scotland are always a tough start, especially as they’re one of the home countries,” continued Rollings.

“We were on a bit of a downer since this morning, losing to Scotland, but we knew they were a strong pairing and they were always going to be good.

“You have to take all the positives from what you put into that game and take it into the New Zealand game.”

And with a win now under their belts, partner Bowler believes the pair can take confidence going into their next set of games.

“It’s definitely a confidence boost,” said Bowler. “No one likes to lose, it’s always a struggle when you do lose a game and you’ve got to try and pick yourself up.

“To have this behind us now, it’s confidence and fingers crossed tomorrow we can carry on playing the way that we did today in the afternoon.”

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