Bowls: Lusby beaten but competitive in first PBA final

Aidan Lusby
Aidan Lusby
Dunedin's Aidan Lusby was beaten but not disgraced at his first Professional Bowls Association final in the United Kingdom.

Lusby (30), a sales representative, lost his first-round game against the fifth-ranked bowler in the world, Andy Thomson (England), 9-6, 5-5 in the UK international open singles in Blackpool.

Lusby won as many ends as Thomson but was unable to pull back two big counts against him.

Lusby, a member of the Anderson's Bay Bowling Club, led the second set 5-4 before the final end. But Thomson drew a shot on the backhand within 5cm of the jack to draw the set and win the game.

It was an impressive international debut for Lusby against Thomson, who was last year's world indoor singles champion.

Lusby, who has been playing bowls for only five years, is ranked 11th on the New Zealand PBA list.

He won his spot in the Blackpool event by beating New Zealand No 2 Murray Glassey (Hawkes Bay) 11-2, 9-1 in the national final in Dunedin in September.

Dunedin will host the transtasman PBA challenge from September 11 to 13 this year. It has been held at Tweed Heads on the Gold Coast for the last three years.

The New Zealand PBA programme starts at Queen's Birthday Weekend with tournaments in Hamilton, Hastings, Dunedin and Invercargill.

The finals weekend has been allocated to the Waverley Bowling Club in Invercargill for the first time. The club became a PBA venue last year.

The four international-class stadiums that hold national PBA events in New Zealand are Frankton Railway Bowling Club (Hamilton), Heretaunga Club (Hastings), Westpac Bowls Stadium (Dunedin) and Waverley Bowling Club.


NZ PBA
The programme
June 1-3:
Scottish international singles qualifying in Hamilton, Hastings, Dunedin and Invercargill.
June 15-16: World indoor singles qualifying, four venues.
August 10-11: UK open singles qualifying, four venues.
September 6-8: Finals weekend, Invercargill.
September 11-13: Transtasman challenge, Dunedin.