The Scottish Disability Sport para bowlers competed at the Bowls Scotland National Championships 2016 at Northfield, Ayr over the weekend. The growth of our programme over the past 12 months has meant that we have more players competing allowing us to invite 16 players over three sections, including the B6, B7/8, as well as an open female class.
In what was a fully inclusive event the standard of play was exceptional over the two days. The preliminary rounds on the Saturday saw the B6 and B7/8 players share a green with the women’s international players, which produced some great matches. In the B6 class, Gary Clelland was pushed all the way by Ian Donaldson, coming from behind to progress 18-16, once the 2 hour game time limit had been reached. In the other B6 match, George Guthrie beat Fraser Mathieson 21-13. The B7/8 class saw experienced Michael Simpson beat John Wardrope and in the other match in this class, newcomer, Brendan Handling defeated Derek Hartley in a closely contested tie.
The semi-finals were played on green A with each rink occupied by the para bowlers, in addition, the match between B7/8 players Garry Brown and Brendan Handling was shown on the live stream. The match saw Handling coming out on top 21-13 to progress to Sundays final. In the other B7/8 semi-final, last year’s champion Michael Simpson was defeated by Ian Brown 21-20, in a very closely fought match. The B6 semi-final 1 was contested by experienced campaigner Billy Allan against George Guthrie, in which Allan prevailed 21-17. In the other semi-final, Gary Cleland was beaten convincingly 21-8 by Mike Nichol.
The semi-finals saw the first matches in the Open Female section with Rosemary Lenton playing Tracy Black and Barbara McMillan playing Mary Wilson. Both matches were extremely tight from start to finish, with Black coming out on top 21-19 against an experienced Lenton. Wilson defeated McMillan 19-18 following the match reaching the designated 2 hour time restriction.
The finals were played on Sunday 31 July at the same time as the Bowls Scotland finals, meaning para bowls would be showcased to the packed Northfield arena. In the B6 encounter, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games bowler Billy Allan found himself up against Mike Nichol, who had an outstanding semi-final. The match was an interesting encounter in which Mike Nicoll, prevailed 21-12. The B7/8 final was contested by newcomers to para bowls Brendan Handling and Ian Brown and finished in the same score line as that of the B6 match; 21-12 in favour of Brendan Handling. The Open Female final between newcomer Mary Wilson and more experienced Tracy Black was a more straightforward affair with Black exhibiting a convincing performance as she prevailed 21-5. Wilson will undoubtedly learn from her experience and will aim to return next year in a stronger position.
Gold: Mike Nichol (Jedburgh)
Silver: Billy Allan (Cowdenbeath)
Gold: Brendan Handling (Stranraer)
Silver: Ian Brown (Kilbirnie)
Gold: Tracy Black (Alloa)
Silver: Mary Wilson (Edinburgh)
Scottish Disability Sport have a strong programme and events calendar in all formats of the game and are always on the search for new players and coaches to join our para bowls programme. Anyone interested in finding out more should contact the SDS head office on 0131 317 1130 or email@example.com.