Sunday 18th January saw Bowls Scotland begin their selection process for the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games and 10 youngsters took one step closer to booking a place on Youth Team Scotland.
With a huge entry of 124 players aged 14-18, and the field split across eight venues, the standard was phenomenal. Players battled through group stages to reach regional knockout matches from which six boys and four girls now progress. Finals Day will be held on Sunday 1st March at Glasgow Indoor Bowls Club where these 10 qualifiers will be joined by those successful in the second qualifying opportunity being held on Saturday 24th January.
Garioch team-mates Carla Banks and Emily Gray thoroughly enjoyed their day as they both progressed from the Girls North 1 Qualifier held at Abbeyview Indoor Bowling Club, Dunfermline.
15 year old Carla said, “”I’m absolutely delighted to qualify, it’s a great achievement and I’m really looking forward to the finals in March. It will be a great experience and I hope I can pull through, but it’s going to be tough. This opportunity is absolutely amazing. Today certainly wasn’t easy, I just had to stick in.”
Emily, who is 16, added, “Qualifying today is just WOW, I can’t believe it. Coming here today I was hoping to win just one game and, if I had, I would have been unbelievably happy. I’ve enjoyed coming here and meeting new people. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Those going forward to Finals Day from the first qualifier are:
James McDougall (Garioch)
Lee McCormack (Stirling)
Liam Nicholson (Tweedbank)
Calum Darling (East Lothian)
Ross Kerr (Lanarkshire)
Darren Weir (Prestwick Ambassador)
Carla Banks (Garioch)
Emily Gray (Garioch)
Rebecca Houston (Prestwick Ambassador)
Carrie McLean (Auchinleck)
Samoa 2015 will be the second time Lawn Bowls has been included in the Commonwealth Youth Games. The other occasion was the Bendigo Games in 2004 where Scotland won Silver medals in both the Mixed Pairs and the Overall Team Competition.
We wish all players the best of luck in both the second qualifying event and finals and look forward to welcoming the successful players onto Youth Team Scotland.
Photo Credit: Rob Eyton-Jones