Falkirk and Lincoln PBA Qualifiers

THERE will be two Elgin representatives at Potters in January after Andrew Barker claimed one of the two spots on offer in the Falkirk World Indoor Singles qualifying event, with Scotland international Colin Walker grabbing the other.

And Barker achieved the feat playing with someone’s else bowls. “I played really well,” Barker said. “I actually played with a friend’s bowls and for some reason I seemed to get those a lot closer than mine. I don’t know what was happening. I played a few practice games with them and seemed to play a lot better.” Over the course of a mammoth day Barker, a former World Pairs runner-up with club mate and sixteenth seed Michael Stepney, didn’t drop a single set in five matches as he booked a return trip to Hopton-on-Sea, with ambitions firmly set on bettering his achievements from his last appearance in the Singles, when he lost in the first round.

Kevin Rands used home advantage to great effect by qualifying for his first-ever World Bowls Tour event after winning the International Open qualifier at Lincoln. The Scunthorpe resident, who has been plying his trade at the Hall Drive venue for the last 14 years after initially learning his tradeat his hometown club, had suffered numerous near-misses in past qualifying tournaments over the years, but finally nailed his colours to the mast when beating the unlucky Ian Honnor – who lost at the semi-final stage of the previous day’s Scottish Open qualifier – in a dramatic final.

Essex-based James Rippey, who made a great impression on his World Indoor Singles bow in 2017 and the business high-flyer will be hoping to claim a scalp or two in Perth in a month’s time when he makes his debut in the Scottish International Open after winning through on the Saturday.

For the full report, pick up a copy of the October issue of Bowls International, available on September 28.


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