David Bolt, at the age of 39, is one of the older debutants at the Commonwealth Games, but the Sunderland bowler showed that good things come to those who wait as he scooped a bronze medal on the final day of action at Broadbeach.
Bolt competed in both the triples and the fours in Gold Coast, and after the heartbreak of missing out on the podium in the former; he more than made up for it in the latter.
Alongside experienced duo Sam Tolchard and Jamie Chestney, as well as fellow novice Louis Ridout, Bolt was part of the England riink which beat Wales 15-9 in their bronze medal play-off.
And Bolt revealed afterwards that it had been the experience of a lifetime alongside that trio, as well as triples team-mate Robert Paxton.
He said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t have asked for four better lads to share with. It’s been really good. I’m ecstatic to go away with a medal.
“It’s the biggest crowd I’ve played before so it was a bit of an experience from that point of view and then the greens were the quickest I’ve played on as well.
“I’ve been disappointed with some of my game, but generally I’ve felt I’ve played alright.
“This (yesterday’s bronze match triumph) was a bit scrappy, but the boys pulled us through. And it’s definitely nice to finish on a high.”
England had to respond to a tough time on Thursday when they let a 7-0 lead slip against Scotland’s Alex Marshall in their semi-final, eventually going down 19-10. The Scots went on to retain their title in dramatic circumstances against Australia, winning 15-13.
While the English quartet were thrilled at their medals, there was some frustration at letting a chance of gold slip through their fingers.
Bolt added: “We were devastated the first week, felt things didn’t really go our way and then, in the second week, we’ve had better results.
“A couple more ends against Scotland and we were nearly in the final, but we’re pleased with how we played and glad we got something out of it in the end.
“We had to forget about the semi-final, which was hard, but we picked ourselves up again and I thought we did well.
“Wales started off very well, but, in the second half, we controlled the game and I’m thrilled to get the bronze medal.”
In the triples, Bolt was leading for the Devon duo of Jamie Chestney and Robert Paxton. After successfully negotiating the group stage, there was heartache in the quarter-final for the English triple.
After recovering from 14-9 down, they were cruelly beaten 19-18, on an extra end, by Norfolk Island.
Bolt’s second chance of a medal was in the fours, with Devon’s Louis Ridout at lead and Bolt at two, Chestney at three and another Devon star, Sam Tolchard, at skip.
In the group, England eased past Singapore 25-6 and Brunei Darussalam 18-4, only suffering a 12-8 loss to Scotland’, however a quarter-final place was already secure without that defeat.
In the last eight, the England quartet overpowered New Zealand 20-2 to set up a repeat auld enemy clash against Marshall.
England raced into a 7-0 lead, but a run of seven ends without scoring saw the momentum turn in Marshall’s favour, up 12-7.
Despite getting back to 13-10, a dropped four on the 14th end sealed England’s fate at 18-10.
In their bronze medal clash with Wales, England collected a decisive five on the eighth end to open up a 9-5 lead and, in the end, that proved the difference as they held on to a 15-9 win.
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