Chance to move up rankings

Murray Wilson could be the big mover up the national rankings after this weekend’s double-header of PBA ranking singles at the Dunedin Bowls Stadium.

Wilson is ranked 11th and has proved a nemesis for many bowlers of a higher ranking in recent times.

He also won the Dunedin Champion of Champion Pairs title with St Kilda clubmate Owen Bennett earlier this year.

In first ranking singles that began last night and carry over to today, Wilson has a possible second round draw against No 1-ranked Sheldon Bagrie-Howley.

Should he overcome this hurdle, on the other side of the draw are the Mason twins, Oliver (No 4) and Elliot (No 5), potential semifinalists.

In the second ranking singles tomorrow, the draw is a little kinder for Wilson in the early rounds, based on current rankings.

But should Wilson progress, lurking for a possible quarterfinal is Elliot Mason.

On the other side of the draw, Oliver Mason and Bagrie-Howley loom as a semifinal.

Wilson claimed bragging rights over the Mason brothers and Bagrie-Howley when he won the PBA Scottish Singles at Queen’s Birthday weekend, beating Elliot in the final 8-4, 3-7, 2-1.

Wilson will now play in the national finals of the Scottish Open Singles in Wellington next month for a shot at the world title in the UK early next year.

He will be joined by Bagrie-Howley, who won the Dunedin regional title in the UK Open Singles.

With Bagrie-Howley, the Mason twins and Wilson now threatening, the Dunedin region dominates the national PBA rankings, and the top four players are automatically selected to play in the transtasman championship proposed to be held in Dunedin next year.

Wilson and Bagrie-Howley have a further opportunity to add to their game time at the New Zealand finals, as both reached the semifinal stage in the World Indoor Pairs event, Wilson playing alongside partner Sacha Taylor, and Bagrie-Howley teaming up with Elliott Mason.

The outcome of that will be decided on finals day, when Oliver Mason also has the opportunity to strengthen his growing reputation as he has reached the semifinal stage of the World Indoor Singles.

Other players to watch this weekend are the in-form Tania Woodham, Cameron Cook and Ethan Flynn, who have the opportunity to advance up the national standings.

By Wayne Parsons

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