An­drew leads charge

Ruther­glen bowlers in na­tional fi­nals

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Mur­ray Spooner

A host of Ruther­glen bowlers have qual­i­fied to rep­re­sent their clubs at this year’s Bowls Scot­land fi­nals.

And for Burn­side man An­drew Wil­son it has al­ready been a case of mixed emo­tions at the big­gest event on the cal­en­dar for this coun­try’s bowl­ing com­mu­nity. The 24-year-old claimed his place in the un­der-25 Gents Sin­gles and, along with his Burn­side team­mates, the Gents Fours event at North­field, Ayr­shire. But he lost out in an en­thralling last-32 Sin­gles tie with Lon­don Road Foundry BC mem­ber Dean Mack­in­tosh.

Play­ing in Mon­day’s sear­ing heat, An­drew went in to an early 4-1 lead but fell be­hind and even­tu­ally trailed 12-6.

How­ever, he dug deep to bring the game back to 12-12 be­fore Dean edged the con­test 21 shots to 15.

An­drew ad­mit­ted he was dis­ap­pointed but is hope­ful his fours team can do the busi­ness in their game to­day.

He said: “A few loose ends kind of lost me the game but it was pretty good to get there. I’ve been try­ing for a few years and I’ve come close. I’ve got to a few dis­trict fi­nals and semi­fi­nals but I’ve strug­gled to qual­ify.

“Two op­por­tu­ni­ties have came at once which is quite funny.

“Go­ing to North­field, to put it in per­spec­tive for a non-bowler, is the equiv­a­lent of a foot­baller say­ing they’ve played at Ham­p­den in the Scot­tish Cup.

“So it’s a big deal for a bowler and it is al­ways good to say ‘I’ve played at North­field’. I had a good prac­tice on Mon­day and I’ve got a good group of play­ers I’m play­ing with, so hope­fully we can get a good run in the com­pe­ti­tion.

“The at­mos­phere is in­cred­i­ble. There is a lot of sup­port and there was hun­dreds, if not a thou­sand peo­ple down there on Mon­day so it makes for a great oc­ca­sion. Ob­vi­ously it was great weather as well which added to it.”

An­drew, who is the youngest ever bowler to win the Burn­side club championship at just 19, will skip the Burn­side team in their match against St An­drews which starts at 12.30pm to­day.

Scott Steven­son, Ge­off McNee and Alec Hay make up the fourstrong team who have rightly earned their place at the holy grail of Scot­tish bowls.

A straight­for­ward vic­tory over Tem­ple­ton in the first round saw them take on a Clark­ston side led by Pak­istan’s Com­mon­wealth Games star Ali Shan Muza­hir.

But An­drew, an ex-Burn­side Pri­mary pupil, and his tal­ented trio over­came the odds to ad­vance to the semi-fi­nal where they de­feated favourites Ruther­glen.

A dis­trict fi­nal vic­tory over Kingswood saw them qual­ify for the North­field fi­nals and all the mem­bers are keen to get out on the greens.

An­drew said: “It wasn’t par­tic­u­larly easy op­po­si­tion so it was good to qual­ify in the first place.

“I’d like to think we have a good chance of win­ning. I know the team we are play­ing has quite a few young play­ers play­ing for them but I think if you can catch it on the day, any­one can win a game of bowls.”

If the fours win their tie this af­ter­noon they will move in to the last 16 of the com­pe­ti­tion on Fri­day.

Turn to page 65 and 64 for more pre­view and re­ac­tion from the Bowls Scot­land fi­nals.

Lead the wayAn­drew will hope to skip the fours to vic­tory this af­ter­noon

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