Unlikely pair get off to flying start
Peter Fahey and Andrew Ashlin at Weston Creek Bowls Club. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Life as a jet-setting lawn bowler is clearly foreign to Peter Fahey and Andrew Ashlin because it's the first time either has been overseas.
The duo leave for the World Indoor Pairs Championships in England on Wednesday and had to get passports for the first time after winning the Australian berth for the tournament.
They only entered as an afterthought - Fahey organised the ACT qualifiers and only played because Ashlin needed a partner.
After winning their way through that, they did the same at the Australian qualifiers at Tweed Heads in August.
They still have two stages to get through to get into the main draw - first in a round-robin stage against qualifiers from Hong Kong, the US and Canada, and then a knockout game.
The pair are the first ACT players to make it since Andrew Howie went for the World Indoor Singles in 2009.
Both Fahey and Ashlin have been picking the brains of everyone they can about what to expect.
They couldn't get much better help than from Alex ''Tattie'' Marshall - a two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, as well as world outdoor and indoor champion.
Marshall visited Australia last year and the pair got some advice on what to expect at the Potter's Leisure Resort, near Norwich.
They'll need to adapt to the transportable rink, as well as the coloured bowls provided by the World Bowls Tour.
''Alex Marshall, he's right up there, I met him, he came out to Australia earlier in the year and I was lucky enough to have a couple of talks to him while he was here,'' Fahey said.
''He let us know all the things that go on, and a nice fella too.''
They've set their sights on at least making the main draw.
Their flights home are booked for after the semi-finals, with the final scheduled a week later.
They might need to ask their bosses about getting an extra week's leave, but Ashlin said it was a phone call he was happy to make.
The games will be streamed live on worldbowlstour.com and possibly on Pay TV channel Eurosport.
Hopefully their friends and families back home have better luck watching than Howie's Tuggeranong teammates.
''When Andrew Howie went they had about 30 of them over at Tuggeranong in the little bowls room just watching [online] and he delivered his last bowl and they knew it was close in the tie-break and they lost the feed when they were doing the measure to decide the game,'' Ashlin said.
''Then they had to ring him in England to find out who won and he'd lost the measure by that [a few millimetres].''