Commonwealth Games 2002
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Bowls Monday, 29 July, 2002, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
England hold off Fijian threat
A competitor lines up a bowl at Heaton Park
The women's fours is down to the final four

England's men and women are in the medals in the Commonwealth Games bowls at Heaton Park.

The men held off an inspired performance from Fiji to move into the semi-finals of the fours.

John Ottaway, Simon Skelton, Robert Newman and David Holt were pushed in the contest at Heaton Park before claiming a 15-11 win.

The host nation now face Northern Ireland after they beat New Zealand 15-12.

open quote
The green bowled very well and it was nice to finally get started
end quote
Mervyn King

Elsewhere, Wales produced a perfect end to halt the threat of Australia and triumph 23-12.

The Welsh had been struggling before taking all eight points and overturning the Aussie lead.

They will meet South Africa in the final four after the South Africans beat Canada 16-7.

In the women's event, Ellen Alexander, Shirley Page, Gill Mitchell and Carol Duckworth are assured of at least silver after beating New Zealand 19-6.

Their final opponents will be Canada, who beat Welsh four Ann Sutherland, Pam John, Nina Shipperlee and Gillian Dawn Miles in dramatic fashion with a thrilling four-shot swing on the last end.

England's Mervyn King opened his bid for singles glory with a resounding 21-8 victory over Garry Ryan of the Norfolk Islands.

Afterwards King said: "The green bowled very well and it was nice to finally get started."

Another winner in Group A of the singles competition was 17-year-old Ryan Bester. He defeated Zambian Eddie Nkole 21-7.

Scotland's Darren Burnett also started well with a 21-5 triumph over Malawi's Laurie Arthur while Northern Ireland's Jeremy Henry beat William John James 21-17.

In the women's singles for the blind England's Ruth Small beat Kenya's Susan Njani 15-3 in Group A and Scotland's Judith Anne Marshall triumphed 15-11 over New Zealand's Marilyn Savage.

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