World Triples' triumph for Pembrokeshire Short Mat Bowls players

Mark, Andrew, and Alan - winners of the World Triples

There were great celebrations in local short mat bowls recently with the news that Pembrokeshire players had won gold in the triples and pairs, and bronze in the rinks at the World Championships, which were held at Herentals, 30 kms from Antwerp.
The World Championship programme - a great memento for all threeAnd in the triples, brothers Andrew and Alan Evans, who play at Tavernspite, were joined by Mark Thorpe (The Meads) as they took on teams from Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, England, Ireland and Sweden in a round-robin competition where the top two went through to play in the semi-finals over the weekend of intense concentration and matches aplenty.
Each country was allowed two teams in each category and the local trio played consistently well to win their first five games so that when they lost 9-8 to Norway in the final match they had already qualified.

Narrow squeak in opening match

Coincidentally, though, their first match was against their eventually opposition in the final and the Irish were three shots ahead with just one end to go – but Wales, with Mark Thorpe as lead, Alan (second) and brother Andrew (skip) bowled superbly they picked up four shots to squeeze home 11-10!
They then beat England (9-4), Netherlands (11-4), Sweden and Belgium to assure qualification for the last four so that the Norway defeat was disappointing but not disastrous so that they played Damien Campbell, Aden Corrigan and Mark Sproule of Ireland in their semi-final and in another very tense affair they edged through 9-8 to reach the final.
That meant they had to play the other Irish team, their first opponents of the weekend, in the final and although The Irish are traditionally fearsome opponents, Mark, Alan and Andrew were on top from the outset and coasted into an 11-4 advantage so they didn’t have to play the last of the 15 ends.
For all three it was a first world title so well done to all three bowlers, who are great advertisements for short mat bowls and there was a double celebration for Alan Evans because he was elected by the rest of the squad as team captain and so was understandably honoured to receive the Nations Cup as the most successful team in the competition, another first for Pembrokeshire and Wales’ Short Mat bowlers!

Alan as proud Welsh captain
Andrew and Mark - winning the Welsh pairs just a week later