The biggest New Zealand Professional Bowls Association contingent in 10 years is descending on the Potter’s Leisure Resort for the World Indoor Bowls Championships starting tomorrow in Norfolk, England.
New Zealand participation commences 12.30am Friday morning New Zealand time with replacement pairing of Mike Isaacson and Tony Terry from Hastings playing in a World Indoor Pairs preliminary pool. The pair were called up once Tim Toomey and Ray Martin withdrew for family and national bowls commitments respectively. The Hawkes Bay pair are already making the most of the opportunity spending a week acclimatising to the European time zone seeing the sights of Rome and Amsterdam and are looking fresh and rearing to go. They play Ireland, South Africa and Israel to win their pool and play-off against the other pool winner.
Current NZ PBA Chairman Richard Corry then makes an appearance in the preliminary rounds of the World Indoor Singles having won a qualifying spot in Toronto, Canada. This is a long time between drinks for Corry who last played on the World Bowls Tour in 2002 and plays Hong Kong, USA, Israel and Welsh qualifiers.
Craig Tinker from Invercargill and Elliot Mason from Dunedin are also in the World Indoor Singles field next week with Mason given this opportunity as a replacement for last season’s cancelled International Singles. Both were recently part of the successful Scotty’s Meats PBA NZ team that beat the Australian PBA team in Perth and Mason went on to win the Victorian Open Pairs in Shepparton a week later.
New Plymouth’s Rhonda Adams is rewarded for being NZ PBA’s top ranked woman over the last three years with entries in the Ladies Invitation Singles and the Mixed Pairs after the withdrawal of an Australian entry.
And 16 days into the festival of bowls, Jesse Russell from the Hamilton area will play in the World Under-25 Invitation Singles as the NZ PBA’s top ranked under-25 player just two years after joining the PBA.