On behalf of Scottish Disability Sport, Disability Sport Fife (DSF), with support from the members of the Beveridge Park Bowling Club hosted the 2016 Scottish Inter Area Championships for Bowlers with a Learning Disability. Beveridge Park BC President John Clark welcomed teams from Lothian, West of Scotland and defending champions Fife to the club for the second time in six years. Despite overcast conditions and intermittent light rain throughout the day, the event was judged a great success by participants, support coaches and spectators.
DSF bowls coordinator Math Thomson encouraged the involvement of volunteer markers from the Beveridge Park BC, Fair Isle BC, Dysart BC, Gallatown BC, St Clair BC and Dovecot bowling clubs. A strong team of volunteers organised breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea for the participants and the green was prepared magnificently by the club for the occasion. Players and officials dodged a few challenging showers but the only downpour of the day was fortunately reserved for the last few minutes of the final session.
The unique format of the Inter Area Bowls competition offers six male and six female representative bowlers to contest singles, pairs and triples over three sessions. Each Area Team has a male and female A and B team and all players play for team points towards the overall title.
Lothian challenged strongly for the title in 2015, but an under strength 2016 team played Fife in the first session and despite outstanding play and maximum points for the women players, the session ended with Fife ahead by 17 points to 7. Session two brought together West of Scotland and Lothian and once again the Lothian women were in fine form but the men found the formidable West team consistent, accurate and playing well as a team. The final score of 19 to 5 enabled the West players to take a two point lead into the final session against double champions Fife. When the Inter Area Championship was first held in Fife in 2010, West and Fife shared the title and West won the title outright in 2012.
The competition was set for a grand finale. It was the Fife women who set the pace with a clean sweep of victories and a maximum 12 points. In the men’s matches, West of Scotland won the A triples and B singles but the in form defending champions from Fife were dominant in the A team singles and pairs and B team pairs and triples. Darryl Stewart led the B Team and collected the Inter Area Trophy on behalf of Team Fife. Team Fife ended the day with 37 points, West of Scotland 23 points and Lothian 12 points. Bowlers now turn their attention to the SDS Scottish Lawn Bowls Championships in Aberdeen at the beginning of September.
Richard Brickley MBE
President Disability Sport Fife