Pride in bronze tinged with disappointment
He departed Adelaide with a bronze medal, not the gold he had originally set his sights on, but former Marlborough bowler Matt Gallop can still reflect on a successful world championships debut.
Gallop, who plays out of the Cabramatta Club in Sydney and is also registered with the Blenheim Bowling Club, played in the middle of the New Zealand triple with Havelock-registered skip Ali Forsyth and Tony Grantham at lead. They came home with the bronze medal, a fine achievement in competition with so many top teams but something of a letdown after going through unbeaten to the semifinals.
They fashioned a superb nine-win, two-draw sequence until being beaten in a thrilling race for the gold-medal playoff 10-12 by Australia. Gallop was also part of the men's four which narrowly missed out in the knockout stages.
Speaking in Adelaide as the championships concluded, Gallop said the initial disappointment in not making the gold-medal playoff lingered but he was still proud of what he achieved.
"Obviously you always want to go a bit further when you get that far but looking back now it was pretty good. We had a really good game against the Aussies. We were down 1-9 and went into the last end trailing 10-11. Fifteen ends, very tight. There were a lot of one shots.
"We were just a bit slow out of the start. The green we played on, they put two rollers on it and it had picked up two seconds [in pace] since we had practised on it in the morning. They [Australia] cottoned on to it a lot quicker than us. Once we got on to it and adjusted we were right."
The world bowls experience was memorable, said Gallop, made even more special with his parents, Lloyd and Jan, and his older brother, Steven, there to watch. "It's been fantastic. Better than anything else I've played in. The number of countries, the level of play. There were 27 countries involved. What you would call the minor countries have got a lot better and that made all the games quite hard.
"Five medals out of eight for the team. That's pretty good."
He'll be back home in Blenheim for Christmas before heading to nationals at New Plymouth where he's playing in a four, which includes his father Lloyd, and in the pairs with Forsyth.
- The Marlborough Express