2017 National Lawn Bowls Championships

The sun was shining for bowlers in Aberdeen for the 2017 National Lawn Bowls Championships.  SDS returned to Westburn Park, Aberdeen for another successful Championships. The picturesque park in the heart of the Granite City has been the home of the Championships for almost thirty years now and as ever Sport Aberdeen proved to be excellent hosts. SDS were delighted to welcome the Depute Lord Provost of Aberdeen Allan Donnelly to present the trophies to the winners and the Chair of Sport Aberdeen Colin Taylor who attended to support the bowlers. Sport Aberdeen have been ideal partners over the years for this event and their commitment to disability sport in the area is clear with their unstinting support of this event.

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 the Scottish Borders, Angus and Perth & Kinross. Steve Key – a bowls player from Perth & Kinross – made his first appearance a memorable one by securing the title for players in a wheelchair. Steve defeated the highly decorated former champion Rosemary Lenton (Dumfries & Galloway) in the final by 9 points to 6. Four-time champion Billy Allan from Fife and his fellow Commonwealth Games squad member Mike Nicoll (Scottish Borders) in the final of Section 4 by 11 points to 5 to claim the Dewars trophy for the fifth time and may have the peerless David Heddle’s eight-title records in his cross-hairs.

Sections 1 & 7 were combined and four bowler competed for this title with the experienced Carole Martin from Lothian emerging victorious on this occasion defeating Grampian’s Katherine Hardie in the final to the loss of no points and claim her first national title in the competition.

The Thomas Taylor trophy was contested by bowlers from three branches with 2016 winner Tracy Black from Forth Valley, Fife’s Mary Wilson, Barbara McMillan, Maria Spencer and Sam Smeaton expected to be all competing strongly for the 2017 edition. In an extraordinarily close group Sam Smeaton qualified for the final on shot difference as the players all secured one win apiece. Mary Wilson repeated her 2016 performance by finishing runner-up to her stable-mate Sam by 7 points to 4.

The closest section of all proved to be Section 6 where local bowler Ali Burt and Lothian’s Richard Morrison were the clear group winners who then faced off in the final. Last year’s champion Fraser Mathieson had to withdraw prior to the vent with an injured back and this meant a new name was destined for the trophy. IN an intensely competitive match Ali Burt sent the local home happy with a 6-5 win over the Lothian bowler.

Fife’s strength in the bowlers with a learning disability section came to the fore again with both titles heading back down the coast to the kingdom. Craig Donaldson added to his 4 titles with against Phillip Hendry from Highland in a comfortable 14-6 win. Wendy Thomson joined Billy Allan as the only bowlers to defend their titles in 2017 by beating Lothian’s Amanda Craig in the Section 9 final and lift the Jessie Buchan cup.

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.