SIAN Honnor described the first week of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow a roller coaster of emotions.
The Homefield Park bowler and Worthing Herald chief reporter was part of the England ladies’ fours team who lost 12-10 to South Africa in the quarter-finals. The triples competition starts today.
She wrote: Phase two of our Commonwealth Games kicks off today as we play the first round of the ladies triples.
Last week was a roller coaster of emotions. It started on Wednesday as we entered the Celtic Stadium with the rest of Team England, a moment of overwhelming pride and feeling of achievement just at being selected for the Games.
Then we were up early the next morning for our first round clash against Canada. We did not find out we were on the television rink until we arrived at the green. Always a little daunting for your first game, especailly when one of your team members is new to major championships.
However, my girls coped brilliantly and we all put in a good performance to win the match by ten shots.
Our second clash was against the Norfolk Islands, who we had played in practice and who had defeated South Africa the previous day.
Again, we hit the ground running, opening up a strong shot lead which we were able to maintain, winning by 15 shots. We played much better bowls in this game so felt confident about the next game where we faced South Africa.
It was a very tight game on Saturday morning, made harder by a couple of fortunate bowls by the skip when we were holding counts. We edged it by one shot meaning that we qualified as top of our group, unbeaten and with a plus-26 shot difference.
But Canada’s win against the Norfolk Islands meant that South Africa also qualified on shot difference, by a one-shot margin, despite having lost two group games.
Then we drew them in the quarter finals.
We had not bowled a bowl when it began to pour with rain but we started really well and went 8-1 up. But South Africa, who also beat myself and Jamie Lea Winch in the semi-finals in Delhi by a fluke on the last bowl, are too strong not to counter attack, and we knew the assualt was coming.
After some big bowls from the back end to keep us afloat we went into the final end of the match one down in the game.
Sophie and Jamie Lea had a good end and Ellen at three played a great bowl to mean that we were lying two, and holding game when I went to the head. My first bowl was a covering bowl and the South African skip wicked in off a short bowl to take the jack, sitting right behind it for one up.
I had to play weight with my final bowl and we all thought I had it but the bowl just seemed to hold off.
We came off the green stunned into silence, the worst feeling in the world for that hour or so as everything sinks in and you replay every single end in your head, knowing that as a team we had played so well and feeling that history had repeated itself.
That was two days ago and, although it still hurts, we have to move forward now and focus on the triples, build on what we have learnt from the fours.
South Africa went on to win the gold medal, beating Scotland in the semi-final on the last end and defeating Malaysia in the final.
So, perhaps, their names were on that trophy from the outset, having scraped through the group.
New Zealand took the bronze after beating Scotland.
We have a tough group in the triples but will go out there now with even more determination and grit.