Scott clinches Stoke In­vi­ta­tion Sin­gles ti­tle

Nelson Mail - - SPORT - WAYNE MARTIN

Nel­son’s Mur­ray Scott pro­duced a clin­i­cal dis­play of draw bowls to com­fort­ably claim the 2017 Stoke In­vi­ta­tion Sin­gles ti­tle on Sun­day.

Scott’s com­mand­ing 21-8 win over Can­ter­bury’s New Zealand rep­re­sen­ta­tive An­drew Kelly at the Stoke Bowl­ing Club was his first Stoke ti­tle in seven at­tempts af­ter los­ing to West Coast’s Shane Pas­coe in the 2012 final.

De­spite the ap­par­ent ease of Scott’s vic­tory, the 55-year-old Nel­son rep­re­sen­ta­tive never al­lowed him­self to lose fo­cus against an ex­pe­ri­enced op­po­nent.

‘‘It was pretty pleas­ing ob­vi­ously,’’ Scott said. ‘‘No, you’re never home un­til you get to 21, so you’ve just got to keep on the job and try and limit the dam­age.’’

Scott opened up an early 4-1 lead be­fore Kelly took his first and only lead at 5-4 af­ter seven ends. Scott drew level at 5-5 on the next end as a crip­pling 12-shot run over the next nine ends pushed him out to a com­pre­hen­sive 17-5 lead.

Al­though Kelly dragged three shots back to trail 17-8, a two to Scott on the 19th fol­lowed by a four on the next end sealed the win.

A tricky breeze cre­ated some is­sues for the pair al­though Scott’s im­pec­ca­ble draw play proved too much for the Cantabrian.

‘‘I was find­ing the weight, so that’s the key thing ... just plug­ging away.’’

Scott had suf­fered two losses in sec­tion play to emerge sec­ond in his sec­tion be­hind Can­ter­bury’s Kelvin Scott.

He be­gan his march to the ti­tle on Sun­day with a 21-8 quar­ter­fi­nal win over South Can­ter­bury’s Sean O’Neill, be­fore beat­ing Can­ter­bury’s Nathan Glas­son 21-13 in the semi­fi­nals.

Kelly had also fin­ished sec­ond in his sec­tion af­ter one loss, but beat de­fend­ing cham­pion, Stoke’s Peter Hod­son, 21-8 in the quar­ter­fi­nals ahead of a tight 21-20 semi­fi­nal win over three-time cham­pion Kelvin Scott of Can­ter­bury.

Scott es­ti­mated that it was his sev­enth Stoke event and ad­mit­ted that the achieve­ment rated promi­nently among his ca­reer high­lights.

‘‘Nat­u­rally I’m chuffed be­cause sin­gles is a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent to the team game when you’re play­ing with your mates and try­ing to get across the line. So it’s a good achieve­ment ob­vi­ously.’’

South Can­ter­bury’s Keanu Darby beat Stoke’s Paul Baken 11-10 to win the plate final and Lloyd Bel­lis beat Mike Carter 9-4 in the Sun­day Shootout.

VIR­GINIA WOOLF/STUFF

Stoke In­vi­ta­tion Sin­gles bowls cham­pion Mur­ray Scott in ac­tion dur­ing Sun­day’s semi­fi­nals.

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