The Bowls Scotland Super Series Singles competition held this weekend, saw 32 male and 16 female bowlers visit the National Centre for Bowling in Ayr to play in knock out rounds in the hope of being crowned 2017 Champion.
At just 24 years old, and after three closely fought games, Paul qualified for the semi-finals where he met tough opposition in John Fleming Jnr. Being 11 – 5 down after 12 ends Paul was able to fight back, staying in the lead throughout to win 21 – 13 after 24 ends. Making it to the final, Paul who bowls at local club Dalmuir went head to head against Mark Thompson of Lossiemouth bowling club in the final round.
Getting off to a solid start Paul was 4 – 1 up after just three ends but with Mark making consistent shots one after the other, the scores came to a draw after eight ends at 7 – 7 each. It was then however that Paul made the break and retained a steady lead throughout the rest of the game and after playing twenty-one ends Paul was crowned the Super Series Gents Singles Champion 2017 with a final score of 21 – 11.
Delighted with his win, Paul explained:
“This is my greatest achievement so far. I got beat in the National finals of the Junior Singles two years ago, I got a silver medal that day. I told myself the next time I got to a Scottish Final I wasn’t walking away with silver so I’m delighted to get gold today.”
Having been a part of the West Regional Academy since it’s induction in May 2016, Paul attends fortnightly training sessions with fellow academy members and coach Richard Glassford in order to help develop his skills and improve his all-round performance:
“Regional Academy has made me think a lot more about the game. It has eliminated the bad bowls and inconsistencies in my game, it has also helped me with my mind set and concentration. It has helped me to slow down, compose myself a bit more and think about the shots so it’s delivering results.”
Winning alongside Paul in the Singles competition was Karen Dawson of Denny bowling club in Falkirk. Winning the Ladies Singles at the National Championships in 2003, Karen has definitely had a successful career in bowls. Along with her Nationals win, she has represented Scotland in the International Series on a number of occasions, won the two bowl triples and the mixed pairs over the last few years and recently was awarded her fiftieth cap for Scotland.
Much like Paul, Karen got off to an excellent start against opponent Donna Clark and was 8 – 0 up after just five ends. Making a come back in the next five ends, Donna was now on the scoreboard but Karen was still able to keep a steady pace in front and continuing this throughout the game was able to come out as the winner with a final score of 21 – 14.
Speaking of how she felt when she won the competition Karen stated:
“Fantastic! Love it! A gold medal around your neck is an amazing feeling.” She added, “I’m happy to add the Super Series win to my list of achievements, it will be up there with the best of them. I love playing Singles and it is a great feeling winning a Singles game.”
As such an exciting season comes to an end for Karen, all that is left for youngster Paul to compete in is a few club finals, the end of season Regional Academy competition taking place on Sunday 27th August and the BIBC Junior International Series competition being held in Llandrindod Wells, Wales in September. Looking forward to all that is ahead, Paul is hoping to continue his winning streak and deliver a good result for Scotland in the International series and after such a positive season already this is definitely just the beginning of his very exciting bowls journey.