Experience can guide me to fourth world title, says Isleham bowls ace Ellen Falkner

Cambridgeshire duo Ellen Falkner and Nick Brett are all set for their respective 2017 ‘Just’ World I

Cambridgeshire duo Ellen Falkner and Nick Brett are all set for their respective 2017 ‘Just’ World Indoor Bowls Championships title defences at Potters Resort in Norfolk. Photo: Tony Rushmer - Credit: Archant

Isleham’s Ellen Falkner starts her search for a fourth women’s World Matchplay title this Saturday at Potters Resort in Norfolk.

The City of Ely Bowls club ace returns to the International Arena at Hopton-on-Sea as defending champion after she beat Rebecca Field in last year’s final.

Falkner, 37, faces Scotland’s Claire Johnstone in the first round and is expecting a tough match.

She said: “Claire has been playing for Scotland indoors and outdoors for a number of years. She has competed at numerous major championships, so she’s an accomplished and experienced player and won’t be fazed by the portable rink.

“I’ve just got to use all my experience to help me get over the line. Every player in the event is capable of winning it so I know I’ll have to be at the top of my game to have a chance of defending my title. It’s all about who hits form at the right time”

The two-week 2017 ‘Just’ World Indoor Bowls Championship continues a busy time for Falkner, who was in action for England last month.

She said: “I was overseas for Christmas, following playing in the World Outdoor Championships in New Zealand. So I have been working really hard since getting home, putting in lots of practice time to get back into bowling indoors.

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“I’m excited to be going back to Potters. The atmosphere and environment is like nowhere else I’ve played.”

Falkner will have a chance to prepare for her opening Singles match when she appears in the Mixed Pairs event alongside playing partner Robert Paxton 24 hours earlier.