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Last-end drama as Fitzgerald books his place in county singles semis

PUBLISHED: 14:30 06 July 2018

Kevin Fitzgerald of Wanstead Central and Geof Gasson of Maldon met in the quarter-final of the county singl,es

Kevin Fitzgerald of Wanstead Central and Geof Gasson of Maldon met in the quarter-final of the county singl,es

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‘I’m the underdog’ claims Wanstead Central bowler

Kevin Fitzgerald of Wanstead Central bowls clubKevin Fitzgerald of Wanstead Central bowls club

Kevin Fitzgerald booked his place in last four of the county singles on Monday after a dramatic quarter-final which went right down to the wire, writes Dave Evans.

And the Wanstead Central player declared himself to be “definitely the underdog’ of the competition, saying: “In the last four we have three people who have won national titles before and then me, so I am the underdog.”

Those words came after a marathon clash with Geof Gasson from Maldon at the RHP Club in Chelmsford.

It looked like it may be an easy night for Fitzgerald as he opened up a 7-1 lead and looked in control, but that soon diminished.

“I’m not quite sure what happened,” he added. “He nicked a couple of ends and sort of nudged his way back into it.”

Gasson hauled himself back to 13-13 and as his confidence grew, he grabbed the lead at 18-14 and looked the favourite as Fitzgerald struggled.

“He played well, but here is the great bowls excuse, the shadows going across the green meant I couldn’t find the line. It was vital I found it again because when that goes, so does your pace.”

Finally he got back into the groove to take the game to the wire.

“At 18-15 down, I wasn’t going to give up, so I decided to just forget about the score and concentrate on making him work for it.”

He certainly did that, levelling the match at 20-20 and then holding his nerve to take the match.

“I was pleased with the last few ends,” he said. “I wasn’t nervous. There have been times in the past when I have got tense and lost, but I think I kept myself together.

“But it is in the lap of the Gods sometimes. He played a cracking last bowl and that could have been it.”

It wasn’t and Fitzgerald will now play his former Wanstead Central team-mate Mark Nullmeyers, now of Romford, in the semi-final at Westcliff on July 14.

They have met once before in the club singles where Fitzgerald triumphed, but he still insisted that he is the underdog.

It will be his first trip to Westcliff in the singles in five years, when he ended up finishing in fourth place.

The other semi-final will see Ed Morris of Essex County take on Andy Squire of Maldon in what looks to be a clash of the heavyweights.


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