Bowler Sam Tolchard keeping cool ahead of gold medal match

Bowler Sam Tolchard keeping cool ahead of gold medal match

Devon bowler Sam Tolchard insists he has nothing to celebrate yet after qualifying for the men’s pairs gold medal match with Jamie Walker at the Commonwealth Games.

Tolchard and Walker overcame Scottish legends Alex Marshall and Paul Foster 19-13 to guarantee themselves a medal regardless of the outcome of their match against Wales on Tuesday morning.

But the 33-year-old emphasised that they wouldn’t be getting carried away tonight.

“We played good today,” said Tolchard, who produced a huge runner in the tenth end to establish a three shot lead.

“There’s no point in going mad because if we don’t win tomorrow, it means nothing.

“We need to get our heads down, play like we did today and if we do that we stand a good chance.”

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

Tolchard won bronze in the pairs in 2014 having been beaten in the semi-final by Marshall and Foster but insisted there was no thirst for revenge.

“It’s a game of bowls at the end of the day, you have to forget your opponent and just play,” he added.

“If you don’t play well here you’re going to lose. The opponents are irrelevant, we’ve just got to focus on ourselves.”

The victory sees Tolchard and Walker play Wales’ Daniel Salmon and Jarrad Breen in Tuesday’s final, and Walker admitted he was thrilled to progress.

“I’m over the moon,” enthused Walker. “We knew it was going to be a tough game against those guys [Alex Marshall and Paul Foster] but we backed ourselves.

“We know if we play well, we can get them chasing shots and that’s what we did – and we managed to do that.”

The duo now face an anxious evening ahead of their 8.30am start on Tuesday, but Walker insists they’ll be playing it cool.

“[We’ll] just keep doing what we normally do,” he added.

“Go back, chill out, play some cards. Maybe a non-alcoholic lager. That’ll be it.”

The win capped a terrific day for England on the greens, as Nick Brett, Louis Ridout, and Jame Chestney clinched gold in the men’s triples against Australia.

“It’s amazing,” said Walker. “It was so hard not to look over at the big screen.

“They’ve done absolutely fantastic and we’re over the moon for them.”

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