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Bagrie-Howley leads the national rankings | Otago Daily Times News Online

By on June 7, 2022 0
A triple-header in PBA competition this weekend featured epic encounters and a climb to No. 1 in the national rankings for Sheldon Bagrie-Howley (Gore).

The 27-year-old impressed national coaches with a masterful display to move from No.2 to first place.

Opening the weekend was Shanghai’s fast and furious three-way competition which set the stage for intense competition in the Scottish and UK Open singles finals.

After earning a second life in the semi-finals, Nick Buttar (Queenstown) dominated the final beating Brent McEwan (St Clair) 31-16 and Louise Natta (Fairfield) 31-11).

In the plate final of the Shanghai competition, Bruce McDowell (Taieri) beat Ethan Flynn (Hawea) 31-21 and defending champion Niel Louw (Taieri) 31-8.

The commercial end of the UK singles and Scottish Open has been intense as players bid to be crowned regional champions and earn a place in the national final at Naenae in September. National winners then secure passage to the World Finals later in the year.

Bagrie-Howley and Duane White (Forbury Park), who have both previously appeared in world finals, were opposed to the UK Open draw and met for a place in the final, Bagrie-Howley l winning 12-6, 7-Sept.

Bagrie-Howley said despite not making progress in Shanghai on Friday, it served as a “nice little warm-up” for what was to come.

Eliminated by Murray Wilson (St Kilda) in the Scottish Open singles semi-final, the Gore bowler wondered where it all went wrong.

“Winning the first set 15-0 and losing the next one by one and then losing the tiebreaker, there was no excuse.”

An in-form White bore the brunt of that frustration as Bagrie-Howley won the UK Open singles final with a masterful display of draws to book their ticket to the national final and eventual chance to the world title.

In the Scottish Open final, Wilson beat Elliot Mason (Forbury Park) 2-1 in an intense tie-break.

Wilson won the first set 8-4 and Mason won the second 9-3, to take the match to a three-end tie-break.

The intensity was evident as both players went blow for blow, and the match went to the final bowl.

With Mason holding three shots and looking assured of victory, Wilson delivered the final bowl of the contest which clipped Mason’s front bowl and rested his on the pallina.

“I settled in the first set and did well and then Elliot came into his game,” Wilson said.

“It’s a fabulous competition played in arguably the strongest PBA region in the country. There are no easy games and to be the best you have to beat the best.”

By Wayne Parson