South Africa’s bowlers who went to last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland vindicated the selectors when three of the Warwick Wealth/Bowls South Africa Masters Championships finalists in the open men’s and women’ sections wore green and gold.
They also enjoyed the privilege of playing before the president of World Bowls, Englishman John Bell – a guest of the hosts – who was among a packed bank of spectators at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg.
What a sweet pay back for Northern Free Stat’s veteran Rudi Jacobs, who travelled to Scotland, but had to withdraw at the 11th hour with a shoulder injury.
Always “there” throughout Masters’ sectional play he proved too strong for a hitherto unbeaten skilful George Lotter of tiny Sedibeng District, winning 21-13 after the pair had been locked through 10-10. Jacobs, at 56 the oldest in the field, was no shock winner. One of the best ‘finishers’ in the game he was magnificent, shrugging off the daily heat with disdain.
Eighty of the country’s elite players from all communities participated.
The women’s final was a classic tussle between two superb singles specialists. Esmé Steyn (Johannesburg Bowling Association) found an extra gear to beat SA No1 woman Colleen Piketh (JBA) 21-16 – two Proteas in top form. Steyn and Piketh, multiple SA Singles and Masters champions, sent to a strong message to the rest with World Bowls on the horizon.
Said Bowls SA president Allan Freeman: ‘I knew this was a classy field and it produced wonderful action on great greens for a host of visitors which attended the three-day event at the Wanderers Club. Every section was a minefield. Bowls is alive and well in South Africa; I was delighted John Bell could see It all.’
Pictures of Rudi Jacobs and Esme Steyn courtesy of Wessel Oosthuizen/SASPA
Open: bronze medals men: Gerry Baker/ Jason Evans (both JBA); women: Elma Davis (Eden Bowls)/ Anneke Snyman (Boland).
Senior Women: Gold: (Loraine Victor (Gauteng N) 21, Jenny Smith (JBA) 15. Bronze: Arlene Bosse (Eden Bowls)/Trish Young (WP);
Senior Men: Gold: Theuns Fraser (holder, Sables) 21, Kevin Campbell (WP) 17; bronze: Lewis Klopper (JBA)/ Eddie Fann (Kingfisher).
Junior Women: Ashley Parks (JBA) 21, Roxanne Tringle (JBA) 13; bronze: Carmen Taljaard / Rienie Lucas (both Gauteng N).
Junior Men: Gold: Scotty Elliot (Northern Cape) 21, Cecil Bornman (Gauteng N) 15; bronze: Stephan de Jager (Boland/Chad Wakeford (Border).