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