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Bowls Invitation Singles

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
North East Valley.jpg
North East Valley.jpg

23 OCTOBER 2008 - If brilliant Canadian, Ryan Bester, is to win the Speights North East Valley 10,000 Invitation Singles in his debut outing this weekend, he'll have to beat the best New Zealand bowling has to offer.

The Black Jacks' men's team from January's World Championships - minus Russell Meyer who is domiciled in England at the moment - will be in the star-laden field, as well as most of the best players around the country.

Missing, however, is last year's champion and three times winner Rowan Brassey, who was a late withdrawal this week because of a back injury.

According to the TAB, Gary Lawson is listed as favourite but, to be fair, any of a dozen players should be at equal odds, such is the quality of the players on display. Lawson's great mate and partner in winning this year's Australian Open pairs, Bester, must have a big following and such is his exciting style of play that he will be a big drawcard on the NEV greens over the weekend.

Black Jacks Ali Forsyth and Andrew Todd are singles specialists who will be real threats but it could be that "fringe" internationals such as Shannon McIlroy, Tony Grantham, Sean Scott, Mark Watt and even Brassey's replacement, Andrew Kelly of Elmwood, are names who could feature at the end of section play. These are the players who will not only be playing for the substantial prize-money up for grabs - they will also be out to impress national coach and selector Dave Edwards, who will be watching the action with special interest.

Shortly after the NEV singles, Edwards and his co-selectors, Terry Scott and Colleen Ferrick, will be naming their new national squad of 10 men and 10 women and it would appear that three or four men's positions are wide open at the moment. Because of the standard of the NEV field this weekend, the selectors must take notice of any player who stands out as a candidate for those remaining squad places.

Play begins at 1:30, Friday, and continues throughout the weekend with the final being played on Monday afternoon.

Section 1: Andre Smith (Havelock, Malborough), Dave Archer (Taieri, Dunedin), Tony Grantham (Birkenhead, North Shore), Shaun Scott (NEV, Dunedin), Shannon McIlroy (Stoke, Nelson), Ross Stewart (Winton, Southland), Trevor Morris (Mt Isa, Australia), Peter Unkovich (NEV, Dunedin).

Section 2: Andrew Todd (Australia), Sean O'Neill (Kia Toa, South Canterbury), Glen McDonald (Belfast, Canterbury), Andrew Kelly (Elmwood, Canterbury), Paul Girdler (Wakari, Dunedin), Jim Scott (NEV, Dunedin), Gary Lawson (Hornby Domain, Canterbury), Craig Ellis (NEV, Dunedin).

Section 3: Dennis Leedon (Wakari, Dunedin), Philip Skoglund (Northern, Manawatu), Bill Clement (Alexandra, Central Otago), Steve Posa (Belfast, Canterbury), Andrew Curtain (Elmwood, Canterbury), Mark Watt (NEV, Dunedin), Ryan Bester (Canada), Bruce Dunn (NEV, Dunedin).

Section 4: Justin Goodwin (Takapuna, North Shore), Bruce Henderson (Eastbourne, Wellington), Ali Forsyth (United, Nelson), Terry Scott (NEV, Dunedin), Nigel Wright (Leith, Dunedin), Shayne Sincock (Redcliffs, Canterbury), Richard Girvan (Sydney), Alan Black (NEV, Dunedin).

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