Victory duo Charlie and Rosemary Bailey mixed it with some of the world’s top indoor bowlers in the English Indoor Bowls Association’s national Champion of Champions singles finals.
The Portsmouth-club bowlers were the first husband and wife to feature in the last 16 of the prestigious men’s and ladies’ competition, held over three days at Warner Leisure Hotels Lakeside Holiday Village on Hayling Island.
Rosemary played one of the best matches of the competition in her opener with Poole’s Penny Cresswell.
It was an epic, with the Victory bowler storming back from 11-2 down to win 21-15.
That set up a daunting clash with England international and national singles winner Rebecca Field.
The occasion brought the best out of Rosemary, who stayed in contention throughout before losing 21-15.
Rosemary was thrilled with her performance.
She said: ‘I did exceptionally well with the first match.
‘I was dead and buried and I managed to win.
‘It was 32 ends and took two-and-a-half hours.
‘The match was very, very good. I don’t know how I turned it around. I got the shot and changed the length of the jack.
‘The atmosphere was fantastic. I had a lot of supporters there from Portsmouth, Gosport and Lee.
‘It was superb. It was lovely.’
Rosemary also has the satisfaction of saying she lost to the overall winner.
Field went on to beat 2014 world singles champion Katherine Rednall in the final.
‘I gave her a very good game,’ added Rosemary.
‘It was very enjoyable. I played well and gave my supporters something to cheer about. I was exhausted after.’
Meanwhile, Charlie’s bid for glory ended in his opener on Saturday.
He suffered a 21-8 defeat to talented bowler Andy Smith, from Avon.
Smith went on to lose in the semi-finals.
He suffered a 21-6 loss to eventual winner Paul Hartley, from Hartlepool.
Charlie was disappointed not to get a victory in his opening match – especially as he felt he would improve if he got the chance to adjust to the carpet at the Hayling Island venue.
He said: ‘I enjoyed the event. It was nice to get there.
‘I just didn’t perform on the day. I didn’t find the weight of the green.
‘The aim was to get through that first match to get used to it. But I struggled on it more than the guy I played.
‘He seemed like he’d been on there all his life.’