Glasgow 2014: Melmore & Winch claim pairs silver for England

Jamie-Lea Winch (L) and Natalie Melmore
Natalie Melmore said she and Jamie-Lea Winchby missed gold by "the smallest of margins"

England's Natalie Melmore and Jamie-Lea Winch had to settle for Commonwealth silver in the lawn bowls women's pairs.

South Africa's Tracy-Lee Botha and Colleen Piketh won 20-17 in an extra end after they levelled the match at 17-17 in a dramatic final end.

South Africa made a superb start to lead 7-1, but England had rallied to lead 16-11 with four ends to go.

Defeat means a second silver of the Games for Melmore, who also lost in the women's singles final.

England led for much of the closing stages and looked on course to emulate the success of the women's triple, who claimed gold on Thursday.

But South Africa have been the dominant nation at Kelvingrove and they produced a strong finish to overhaul the five-point deficit.

They trailed 17-16 going into the final end, but were only denied victory when Melmore produced an excellent final shot to prevent them picking up two.

But Piketh, who lost to Melmore in the semi-final of the women's singles, produced a masterful performance in the extra end to give South Africa their fifth bowls gold of the Commonwealth Games.

"Right now I'm not proud, I'm really gutted," said Melmore. "Obviously it's disappointing. We missed it by the smallest of margins.

"Sometimes somebody is not rooting for us up there. We are just going to come back for more next time."

Winch added: "Right now we are both disappointed. It was a close game. Every end counted. I'm sure we will be pleased with a medal but now we are disappointed."

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