Hawick’s Julie is half of world champion mixed partnership

Borders bowler Julie Forrest added another world title to her long list of indoor bowls accolades on Tuesday.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 21st January 2021, 11:35 am
Julie Forrest celebrates winning the mixed pairs title at this year's World Indoor Bowls Championships, along with playing partner Stewart Anderson (BBC)
Julie Forrest celebrates winning the mixed pairs title at this year's World Indoor Bowls Championships, along with playing partner Stewart Anderson (BBC)

The Hawick ace teamed up with North Ayrshire’s Stewart Anderson to win the mixed pairs crown at the Just 21 World Indoor Bowls Championships in Potters Resort at Hopton-on Sea in Norfolk.

Julie, 52, and Stewart, 35, defeated fellow Scottish bowler Carla Banks, from Garioch, and Englishman Robert Paxton by two sets to nil in a final lasting 96 minutes.

The triumph perhaps made up for earlier disappointment for Julie as she lost the ladies’ singles title she’d been defending at the quarter-final stage.

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She won the first set against Devon Cooper, 19, but the young English player took the second set and won the tie-break to move forward.

As we went to press, Julie was still in the open singles competition and was due on Thursday to face Greg Harlow, the number six seed from England.

With a lot of fine bowls delivered by all four players in Tuesday’s two-bowl pairs final, scoring was fairly steady and the match was close for most of its duration.

Two excellent approach shots in the third end of the first set enabled Julie and Stewart to go 3-1 up in shots, having trailed 1-0 after the opening end.

Single-shot advantages were traded until the sixth end when, after the umpire applied his measuring device, two shots from the Forrest-Anderson combination put them 6-2 up.

Stewart and Julie won the last two ends to take the set 8-3.

Banks and Paxton made the better start in set two but then a three-shot advantage in the fifth end pushed the Scottish pair 4-3 in front after they had trailed 3-1.

However, Paxton and Banks then levelled and it was 5-5 going into the ninth and final end.

Playing for the match, Julie delivered one of her familiar forehand runners, which caused the jack to strike an opposing red bowl and land in the ditch.

Paxton played a great reply shot but Anderson played an equally good delivery, which knocked the Englishman’s bowl into ditch and also landed there itself.

Paxton was a little short with his next effort and the end was conceded, which meant Julie and Stewart won it 6-5 and became champions.

Afterwards, Julie said she was delighted to win the pairs trophy with Stewart, as the two had played together for a long time and she often felt like a mother figure to him on the green.

She told BBC viewers: “This is the one that always eluded us, so I am delighted to win it, especially with Stewart, as he has never won it before.

“We go back a long way, so to win the mixed pairs with him is absolutely brilliant.”

Commentator David Corkill said “incredible cosistency” had been the key to victory for the Scots duo.

Too often, they had forced Paxton to play big shots in order to salvage anything for himself and Banks, and eventually, their valiant efforts dried up.

Stewart and Julie played with an average jack length of 25 metres, winning 10-8 in ends, 14-8 in shots, and had seven touchers to their opponents’ two.

The event is available to watch on catch-up on the BBC iPlayer.