Many of Scotland’s leading bowlers were present in Aberdeen for the 2016 National Championships. SDS returned to Westburn Park, Aberdeen for another eventful Championships. The picturesque park in the heart of the Granite City has been the home of the Championships for over twenty years now and as ever Sport Aberdeen proved to be excellent hosts.
Conditions were ideal as players from all over Scotland descended on the three-green club. Particularly pleasing was the presence of new bowlers at the Championships from Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire. Brendan Handling from D&G – fresh from his victory in the Bowls Scotland National Championships B7/8 class and Robert Barr from Ayrshire – joined last year’s runner-up in this section Fife’s Billy Allan and Forth Valley’s Derek Hartley in a strong section that resulted ultimately in a win for one of the most decorated Scottish players out there – Billy Allan. Billy emerged victorious from Robert and Derek respectively in a final round-robin format of very closely contested matches.
Rosemary Lenton from Dumfries & Galloway – a five-time former champion here – went one better than last year when she lost in the final to Jim Sellar by lifting the Mixed Wheelchair title defeating South Lanarkshire’s Martin Elliot comfortably in the final.
The Thomas Taylor trophy was contested by bowlers from four branches with Tracy Black from Forth Valley and Fife’s Mary Wilson leading the way in the group stages. Tracy was strong favourite in the final owing to a fairly comfortable group win over Mary, however was pushed all the way to the end in a tense final, eventually winning by one shot. This meant the Forth Valley bowler had retained the title she won for the first time last year.
The closest section of all proved to be the combined Section 6/7 classes where both groups were decided by shot difference for the first three bowlers in each group. Fraser Mathieson from Forth Valley finished top of his group despite a one-shot loss to Fife’s Neil Laughlin and Lothian’s Carole Martin progressed after a 6-5 win over Grampian’s Ali Burt. Fraser’s recent experiences as part of successful Scotland team’s ensured he eased away to victory over Carole to reclaim the title he won in 2014.
Fife claimed three out of four finalists in Sections 8 (male) & 9 (female) for players with a learning disability. The experienced former champion Daryl Stewart lost out to Andrew Harrison from South Lanarkshire who claimed his maiden title here. Wendy Thomson beat Julie Allan in an all East-Fife final.
SDS congratulates all winners on their achievements and are already looking forward to next year’s championships.
SDS is indebted once again to the support offered in staging the championships by Aberdeen City Council and Sport Aberdeen.