Bowls: Relaxed Scott takes 34th centre title

Elliott Mason
Elliott Mason
Former international Terry Scott (North East Valley) pulled off a Houdini act to win his 34th Bowls Dunedin title.

Scott drew four shots on the 22nd end to beat Blair Barringer (Fairfield) 21-20 in the open singles final at the Fairfield green on Wednesday night.

It was Scott's first centre title for two years and his first singles title for eight years. He won his first Dunedin singles title in 1984 and his third in 2004.

''I lost my two club singles and did not perform well at the national championships in New Plymouth,'' Scott said.

''When I entered the Dunedin open singles, I decided just to relax and be happy with whatever happened.''

Scott and Ken Walker (Fairfield) have dominated Dunedin bowls over the past 20 years and are the only bowlers to have won more than 30 centre titles.

Terry Scott
Terry Scott
Walker, who has won 31 titles, won his first centre title in the champion of champions singles in the late 1970s when he beat Gordon Jolly (Leith). Jolly was poised to beat the record 17 titles that he and E. H. (Life) Ravenwood (North East Valley) shared at that time. Jolly later broke the record when he won his 18th centre title.

Barringer returned to bowls this season after a break for family reasons and quickly returned to his best form.

On his way to the final he beat New Zealand champion Shaun Scott (North East Valley) 21-14 in the quarterfinals and 2002 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mike Kernaghan (Kaikorai) 21-18 in the semifinal.

He was on target to beat Scott when he led 19-10 after 17 ends. Scott used his vast experience to score a two, one and four on the next three ends to trail by just two points, 19-17.

Two ends later, Scott drew four shots to win the game. He put his first two bowls handy to the jack and added two bonus shots with his last two bowls.

Barringer drove with his last two bowls but missed the target and Scott won the game.

It was an unusual game, with both players scoring four shots on two separate ends. Barringer scored fours on the third and 11th ends and Scott replied with fours in the 20th and 22nd.

• Elliott Mason (Forbury Park) has been selected in the New Zealand under-18 team for the transtasman tests against Australia in Auckland in March. He will lead in the pair and play third in the four.

Mark Watt (North East Valley) has been named in the New Zealand development team for the series. He will play in the singles and in the middle of the triple.


Bowls Dunedin
Most men's titles
Terry Scott (North East Valley) 34, Ken Walker (Fairfield) 31, Mike Kernaghan (Kaikorai) 21, Stewart McConnell (Kaikorai) 21, Jim Scott (North East Valley) 20, Gordon Jolly (Leith) 18, Duncan McConnell (Kaikorai) 18, E. H. (Life) Ravenwood (North East Valley) 17.