British Isles Championships- Gents Senior Fours Preview

Next week sees our Scottish champions compete across 14 different disciplines to test their might against their fellow national championship winners in the 2024 British Isles Championships. We have been speaking with all the players and teams prior to the event, to get some insight into their feelings ahead of such an occasion, as well as looking at their journey to Leamington Spa. We also sought some insight on the bowlers, by asking them to pick between one of TVs most divisive duos.


We had the opportunity to chat with our Gents Senior Fours representatives (Derek Smith, Donald Poland, Robert Jess, and Colin Peacock), who hail from Marchmount BC in Dumfries.


Just like our Ladies Fours, bowls is a family sport for the gents, with all four players being hooked into the sport by a family member. Derek and Donald’s wives were the reason they both joined the sport, while it was Bobby’s parents and Colin’s in-laws who introduced them to the sport. Out of the four, it was Bobby who started youngest, at 13-years-old.


The Marchmount rink had ups and downs both en-route to and while at Northfield last year, facing many a tricky game along the way. The most turbulent moment was without a doubt the National final, which saw them have to dig deep to get over the line. Donald recalled:


“In the final, we had to come back from 11-1 behind to win the title. It took fantastic team spirit to comeback and secure the win.”


Heading to Leamington, the gents are all rather looking forward to it. Bobby touched on the subject slightly more in depth:


Having played for 50 years, this is my first-time representing Scotland, despite some unsuccessful trials in the 1980s. To represent my country, and face England in the Semi-Finals is a dream come true.”


Colin matched Bobby’s view, saying that he cannot wait to play for his country for the first time since 1995.


The side have played together as a four for the last three years, though they have played in various setups for almost 15 years. Derek summed the team’s dynamic up, saying that he and Donald are the “old yins at the front”, with Bobby and Colin being the backbone of the side.


When asked who their favourite bowlers are, Donald was first to answer, saying that his wife Jenny is his favourite, she played at a high level for a number of years, unfortunately, she is no longer fit to play.


Derek could not choose a favourite, and Colin chose an ex-international teammate, Colin Mitchell, from Carrick Knowe BC.


When Bobby was asked, he opted for his skip, Colin, saying that he is the best that he has ever played with.


Surprisingly, when asking the Marchmount men to choose between Ant and Dec, the winner was neither! Neither Derek, nor Donald are fans of the TV duo, while the side’s third, Bobby, chose Dec, and skip Colin opted for Ant.


Derek, Donald, Bobby and Colin are straight into the action in Leamington, playing their semi-final against England in the first session of the whole event (26th June, 09:30).

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