World champion bowler Julie Forest has admitted that she had to overcome an early attack of nerves, before going on to successfully defend her title for the fourth time.
The 45-year old saw off Jersey bowler Lindsay Greechan in front of the opponents’ home crowd last weeek, when the island hosted the World Bowls Championship. And for the Teri winner, it is not only title victory which she is still celebrating.
Julie told the Hawick News: “I found the championship quite nerve-wracking, because I’ve not had a great year and my seeding has not been as good as it has in the past. I wanted to prove to myself that I could still do it, but at the start I wasn’t playing as well as I could and I was doubting myself.”
But Julie made it through to the quarter finals, where she was up against her own teammate and roommate - and it was at this point that the Hawick ace found her old form. “That gave me the boost I needed and I started to tell myself I was in with a chance. From then on I just got better and better, and I wasn’t aware of the other players or the crowd. I was in the zone, and it was great.”
Such focus proved invaluable during the final as the home crowd inside the Grainville Indoor Bowls Centre enthusiastically backed their own, when Julie clinched the first set 10-5. The second set proved closer with the Jersey bowler stepping up her game, and Julie admits she had to “pull out some big bowls”, adding: “I ditched the white and that was the end of it, she was demoralised.”
Julie, who lives at Liddesdale Road, commented: “Obviously I was playing against the crowd, but you learn to ignore that, you have to be able to do that. I was absolutely thrilled to bits to win.”
She added: “There is no-one else, man or woman, who has won four times, so I’m delighted.”
Julie and mixed pairs partner Steven Allan were knocked out in the semi-final.