Sam Tolchard looked up to the skies in disbelief as he and Jamie Walker had to settle for silver in the lawn bowls men’s pairs in a 19-18 thriller against Wales. 

Tolchard had the chance to put England ahead on the penultimate end but instead put too much on his final bowl and gifted a crucial point to Welsh duo Jarrad Breen and Daniel Salmon. 

It proved a crucial moment in a topsy-turvy game, as it gave the Wales pair a two-point lead, rendering England’s singular point in the final end obsolete.  

And Devonian Tolchard rued the pair’s inability to finish off the job after fighting back from 15-6 down to level at 16-16. 

“We got right back in the game, got back to level,” reflected Tolchard.  

“Jamie has nailed it, Jarrad has played some unbelievable bowls to squeeze it in the ditch. 

“We laid good at the end but unfortunately I’ve found the hole twice.  

“That’s the way it goes, that’s bowls, today wasn’t our day – congratulations to them.” 

Tolchard and Walker had fought past Scottish bowls legends Alex Marshall and Paul Foster in the semi-finals but came unstuck against Breen and Salmon, who were on top form at Victoria Park in Leamington Spa. 

Despite an initial early lead, the English pair soon found themselves nine points adrift and Walker admitted there was little they could do at times. 

“The game was one of those where we went behind but we weren’t really doing a lot wrong,’ said Walker, who goes again in the men’s singles. “Jarrad played some big bowls and got some maximum results.  

“Fair play to the boys, we knew if we kept doing what we’re doing, a few minor changes got us back into the game and then at the end, [it was] a few inches here or there.” 

Both men have a chance to add to their silver medals, with Walker going in the singles and Tolchard teaming up with triples champions Jamie Chestney, Nick Brett, and Louis Ridout in the fours. 

And Walker admitted there was no time to reflect on the defeat just yet. 

“The schedule is pretty rammed,” added Walker. “It’s just go again, there’ll be time to reflect on this later.”