Nick Brett and Scott Edwards talk to Bowls International ahead of first round World Indoor Singles clash

Today at 2pm on the blue portable rink, Nick Brett will face Scott Edwards, who will clinch a place in the Top 16 should he go further in the tournament than Simon Skelton.

Report by Dom Picksley.

As if beating the Peacehaven man wasn’t tough enough, getting past a player doubly determined to win so that he climbs up the bowls ladder into the big pond makes this a devilishly difficult tie, making it possibly the standout match of the first round.

“Scott’s a very good player – all the UK qualified players are decent, none more so than Scott,” said Brett. “He puts the time in. I spent a bit of time with him at Potters last year and he must have practised six or seven times before he played, so he has a plan and knows what he wants to do. I am definitely not under-estimating him.

“He will be determined to beat me and quite rightly so. He’s a good player and he’ll be thinking if he gets a bit of luck then he will have a chance. I don’t look too much at the draw, just basically the first round, as not everybody you think might win will win. If I play well I will give myself a chance, but you are not guaranteed to do that.

“I am hoping to go there, get to the latter stages and you never know what might happen. Those who get that far are obviously in good form and you need lady luck to go your way, but who knows. I am okay with where my form is – I did alright there last year – and went okay in Scotland, although I was disappointed in the final, that can happen, but all in all I am hoping to go well.”

Giving his thoughts on possible winners of the competition, Brett added: “It’s really difficult, any of the top 16 can win it. Anderson was great last year and he will be wanting to do the same, Foster proved in Scotland that he is still one of the best players in the world, Marshall’s a six-time world champion, all at Potters, so you are not going to go much beyond those three to be honest. Any of them are capable. 

“Dawsesy was the world champion a couple of years ago and he probably wouldn’t have been the one on everybody’s lips, but he played fantastic that year. All of them can play. Gourlay’s been fantastic for the past couple of years, while a couple of years before that he wasn’t going so great. Chestney’s going to win one at some point, but what year is he going to do that?”

Edwards seems to have been knocking at the door of the top-16 for some time now, and without ranking rivals Wayne Willgress and Andy Thomson for company in Norfolk this year, he will not have a better chance than this of finally making it.

He came through a tough Poole qualifier to clinch his place at Potters, hammering Palmerston’s David Hill and then squeezing past wily old veteran Danny Denison on a tie-break, before comfortably beating Jersey international Malcolm de Sousa in the semi-final and former PBA qualifier winner Tom Warner in the final.

He sits just two points behind 16th-placed Skelton in the current list, and one behind Willgress, and knows all too well the ramifications of a good, or indeed, bad run on the portable rink.

“I can’t wait,” he admitted. “I have worked out I need to do better than Simon Skelton, but I have just to go there and win the event. Skelton losing early on in Scotland helped my cause, but you cannot get too hooked up on it, you just have to focus on playing the game. 

“Nick in the first round is going to be really tough. I have played him a few times and had a couple of wins against him. The thing is with him is that he doesn’t need a game to warm up like a lot of the players need. The likes of him and Stewart Anderson just brilliantly start from the off. 

“I have had so much time on that portable rink now that I have no excuses – I got to the quarters last year and have had a few good wins. You have to go there thinking you have to win, I see no other way. I have got to put out of my mind what I need to clinch a place in the top-16. 

“I had a chance to get into the top-16 last year, but that went out the window with Simon doing so well. I would have had a place at the International Open if that had gone ahead and that would have given me five points just for being in it and I would have been in the top-16, so that was frustrating. This is the year for me, I have to do it this year.

“Wayne and I have been fighting away for two or three years now and I would love to see him get in, but of course if I can get in ahead of him then I’ll take that. No wildcard for him this year, which is a shame as it’s great to see him there for the support he brings.”

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