Podium Open Pairs preview - Sunday 2nd June

Our final Podium Open event of the 2024 season takes place on Sunday 2nd June with the pairs event rounding off an amazing month-long festival of bowls.

123 pairs will compete across the seven separate venues throughout Scotland. The 246 players competing will be hoping to use this final event to showcase their skills ahead of next weekend’s Assessment Days.

Allandale BC

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallists Robert Barr and Sarah Jane Ewing will certainly provide strong competition in Group B at the Allandale Bowling Club playdown. The Scottish internationals will face former U25 internationalist Gavin Ansari and Elliot Reid in a potential group winning decider.

Two former SYBA internationals Peter Kirk and Arron Craig will be there or thereabouts in Group A. However, they can expect a tough challenge from Kris Ritchie and Darren Couper who will also be hopeful of qualifying for the knockout stages.

In Group C, fellow Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Garry Brown teams up with Ross Kinnell from Headwell Bowling Club. Their main opposition will come from Alloa East End Bowling Club’s Eilidh Weir & Colin Craig and Rebekah Weir & Dean Jones.

Blacklandmill BC

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Pauline Wilson has joined forces with Yoker Bowling Club rising star Jessica Earl to form a strong pairing in Group A. The duo can look forward to taking on two former National Championships winners in Kevin Bain and Darren Gualtieri.

Ryan Gualtieri and Callum Taggart will form another strong pairing from Hyndland Bowling Club in Group B. The two former National Championships winners certainly won’t have things all their own way as they take on the talented young duo of Logan Fraser and Astyn McKechnie.

Group C arguably looks to be the strongest section at Blacklandmill as 2023 World Bowls Championships silver medallist Emma McIntyre is competing with fellow Scottish internationalist Rebecca Houston. Tarbolton Bowling Club’s Mark Kerr and former U25 internationalist Jordan Slaven will provide a tough test as well as Kieran Ward and current internationalist Paul Kane Jnr.

Broughty BC

There’s no shortage of quality pairings competing at Broughty Bowling Club this Sunday in the Podium Open Pairs.

In particular, Group A is stacked with five strong pairings that could all take points from one another throughout the sectional play. Last year’s European Open Pairs winners Andrew Reilly and Andrew Thomson will be relying on all their experience to come out on top and advance to the knockout phase. Current Bowls Scotland Ladies U25 Singles champion Rachel Pirie and Kieran Dorricott will certainly be pushing them all the way along with a number of other high-class pairings.

The all-Angus duo of Jamie Low and Andy Furye will have their sights set on qualifying from Group B. However, the likes of Isla Duncan and Scottish internationalist Lynn Lees will have other ideas when they meet on Sunday.

Group C features current British Isles Ladies U25 Pairs champions Amy and Emma Blyth. The young sibling pairing will be put to the test as they come up against 2022 European Open Pairs winners Lyle Robertson and Daniel Martin.

Crookston BC

In Group A, current Bowls Scotland Ladies Triples champions Emma Kennedy and Gail Notman will be hoping to build on their memorable 2023 together. The pairing from Stonehouse Bowling Club can expect a tough challenge from Lennon Hamilton and Scottish internationalist Mark Kelsey.

2022 Bowls Scotland Ladies Singles winner Natalie McWilliams and familiar partner Lorna Cameron will be hoping to advance from Group B. Scottish indoor U25 internationalist Gavin Johnston and partner George Robertson could provide their toughest challenge in the group phase.

Two-time Bowls Scotland Gents Singles champion Iain McLean will be in action in Group C alongside fellow internationalist Gary Prunty from Airdrie Central Bowling Club. The experienced pairing of Tom Sclater and Stewart McGillivray will undoubtedly keep the Lanarkshire pairing on their toes throughout the sectional play.

East Lothian Co-Op BC

Five-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Alex Marshall MBE will take centre stage at East Lothian Co-Operative Bowling Club on Sunday. The bowls legend has teamed up with U18 and U25 international rising star Logan Kennedy from Cockenzie & Port Seton Bowling Club. The East Lothian duo will face a tough test against former Bowls Scotland Gents Singles champion Gordon White and former U25 international Glenn Blair in Group C.

Multiple Bowls Scotland national title winners Daniel Gormley and Andy Caldwell from Craigentinny Bowling Club will be one of the pairings to look out for in Group B. However, current British Isles U25 Singles champion Danny Stevenson and former U25 internationalist Liam Nicholson will certainly be up for the challenge.

The sibling pairing of Beth and Dean Riva will be tough to overcome in Group D. Although the Gifford Bowling Club pairing won’t have things all their own way as they come up against current Bowls Scotland Para Open Pairs champions Mark Fleming & Alex Paterson and Scottish internationalists Dee Hoggan & Lauren Baillie-Whyte.

Newhills BC

2023 World Indoor Singles runner-up Jason Banks will certainly be one of the favourites to triumph at Newhills Bowling Club’s Podium Open Pairs qualifier on Sunday. The man from Inverurie Bowling Club has teamed up with Fortrose & Rosemarie Bowling Club’s Kyle Ross.

Former Bowls Scotland Mixed Pairs winners Carla and Colin Banks will also be competing at Newhills. The daughter and father pairing are set to come up against Robert Marshall and Mike Stephen in one of their five respective group matches throughout the day.

U25 internationalist Lee Trotter has joined forces with David Mitchell as the duo will be hoping to advance from Group C. Joe Sammons and former Scottish internationalist Stuart Cruikshank will undoubtedly be hot on their tails.

Winchburgh BC

Ewan Shearer and Scottish internationalist Andy Dunnett will be one of the early favourites at the Winchburgh Bowling Club playdown on Sunday.

Other pairings worth looking out for are the all-international teams of Kara Lees & Aaron Betts and Stephanie Wallace & Chloe Thomson in Group C.

2023 Ann Dennis Scottish Youth Cup Triples winners James Dunnett and Michael McLean could also fly under the radar as a talented young team that will be worth looking out for throughout the day.

Best of luck to all 246 players taking part in this weekend’s Podium Open Pairs event as part of our Drive to Success – Player Pathway. A full report of results will be provided next week.

To view the full draw for the Podium Open Pairs, please visit: https://www.bowlsscotland.com/news/2024-podium-open-draws-released

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