Wales’ lawn bowls men’s triples team proved revenge is a dish best served bowled as they avenged their opening defeat to pip the Pacific islanders to a bronze at the Commonwealth Games.
Ross Owen, Owain Dando, and Jonathan Tomlinson got their Games off to the worst possible start with a 13-12 defeat to Fiji on Friday but ran out 21-7 winners when it mattered most on Monday.
This summer, Team Wales, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, compromises of over 200 athletes, all vying for medal success.
The trio were utterly dominant throughout the match at Leamington Spa, and Owen felt they had peaked at the right time to podium.
“We regrouped after the first defeat,” said Owen, who is a two-time Welsh champion.
“Playing Fiji again today after losing to them in the first game of the tournament, we knew what we had to do to get over the line,
“We’ve got better and better as the tournament has gone on. We could easily have been playing in the gold medal match.”
The Welsh triumvirate didn’t win either of their first two matches but bounced back with victories over Norfolk Islands and Scotland to qualify from their group, before defeat to England in the semi-finals left them battling for bronze.
And as the sun beat down on Victoria Park, the team were roared on by a strong Welsh contingent in the crowd.
“It’s massive, it gives you that extra boost to get you over the line,” added Tomlinson.
“It’s almost like playing in Cardiff, it feels like a home game, it’s superb.”
There was further Welsh success on the green, as Daniel Salmon and Jarrad Breen beat Northern Ireland’s Sam Barkley and Martin McHugh 22-14 in the men’s pairs to book a place in Tuesday’s gold medal match.
The duo quickly established a 16-0 lead and controlled the rest of the game to guarantee themselves a medal.
“I’m just buzzing to be honest,” said Salmon, who is defending his men’s pairs gold medal from 2018.
“If you play it through in your head, that’s the way you want it to go as you can just relax a bit more.
‘We got off to a brilliant start, 16-0, so you’re in control then, you can be a bit more conservative with what you’re doing.
“We played solid throughout and didn’t give them any chances.”
For partner Jarrad Breen, his time in Leamington Spa has already surpassed all expectations, and the Games debutant is simply looking to enjoy tomorrow’s final.
“That’s a freebie now,” said Breen.
“That’s where you want to be, you can express yourself now.
“A silver medal is unbelievable; I’d have taken any medal when I came here. It’s my first Games so I just wanted anything.”
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