ENGLAND EASE THEIR WAY INTO WORLD MIXED DOUBLES WITH CONVINCING WIN
A perfect six on their powerplay saw England turn superiority into supremacy as they ended their Qatari opponents’ resistance at the sixth end of their World Mixed Doubles Championship opener in Norway.
After a slightly slow start saw them fail to take advantage of having the hammer and concede a shot at the opening end, Anna and Ben Fowler seized the upper hand with a four at the next and they led 6-2 at the half-time break.
Qatar’s Maberka Al-Abdulla and Nasser Alfayei then claimed a two at the fifth end to close to within two shots, before the Fowlers took that powerplay at the next and made it count to the maximum.
“It’s the second Worlds in a row that we’ve done that in the first game. It’s not as quite as good as an eight in the fours, but still great,” Ben said afterwards.
He and his older sister feel they have prepared well for the event and he was pleased with the way they built on that as they eased their way into competition at Stavanger's Sormarka Arena, saying: “Our preparation’s been good. We had a really good practice yesterday and got used to the stones that we need to.
“It’s good to get the first win in there, getting used to the ice trying to work out how it runs and how we’re going to throw the stones and I think we’re getting there, which is good.”
Having tried to make every stone count as they looked at readying themselves for the tournament as a whole, they now face another brother-sister combination who are looking to build on an excellent start, New Zealand Bridget and Sean Becker having led all the way in beating Kazakhstan 10-4
“We knew going into this game against Qatar that we had to be as precise as possible with our shots, just making sure that when we get to later in the week we can do the same thing,” said Ben.
“That was mainly the focus, that even if we’re up, we’ve got to make sure we make them perfect so we can do the same in the next game.
“It’s now just about relaxing and making sure we’re mentally prepared for the next games.”
England v Qatar 12 -5
England v New Zealand
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Photo: © WCF/TOM ROWLAND