As comebacks go it could not have gone much better for Hawick’s Julie Forrest who, after a 15-year gap from World Bowls, won silver at the World Cup in Warilla, Australia.
Playing as one of the two members of Bowls Scotland’s team (Lanarkshire’s Iain McLean won gold in the men’s singles), Forrest got better as the tournament went on and only lost in the final of the ladies singles to the talented Malaysian Siti Zalina Ahmad (MAS) 11-4 12-5.
“If someone told me before I went that I would win a medal I would have taken their hand off for it,” said Forrest.
“I’m just so pleased because I didn’t start off as well as I was hoping to and I was beaten in my first game.
“I started off slowly then just got progressively better as the tournament went on.”
To qualify from the group stages into the semi-finals, Forrest needed to win all three of her last games, but she seemed to thrive under that pressure.
“When the pressure is on I tend to play the right shots at the right time which is why I won those three games,” she stated. “I just kept my head down and kept digging away, to keep in contention.”
“The girl I played in the final was outstanding. I managed to keep in contention for the first five or six ends, then after that she just ran out of the blocks.
“It was the best singles game I’ve ever seen someone play in a long time.”
Having not competed at this level since before her daughter Alex was born, how she would fare against the world’s best was something of an unknown quantity.
But Forrest admitted she enjoyed her return to top-level competition and said she would certainly consider competing again.
“It’s one of the best tournaments I’ve ever played in,” she added.
“It’s been 15 years since I played at the World Bowls and the set-up with Bowls Scotland was great.
“The atmosphere in the team was so relaxed and everything was so well organised to make everything as easy as possible for us.”
Forrest plans to play some domestic bowls with the Hawick Wilton club during the summer.