Senga McCrone Obituary

Bowls Scotland are saddened to learn of the passing of former Scottish Women’s internationalist, Senga McCrone.

Senga was raised in Hurlford, East Ayrshire but her bowling career didn’t start until she was in her thirties and living in Northern Ireland. She thoroughly enjoyed badminton but sought to play a less physically demanding sport and joined Lisnagarvey Bowling Club in Lisburn near Belfast.

The Scot quickly became a natural on the green and won the Irish national fours title in 1971 and followed this up by winning the British Isles fours championship in 1972.

After moving back to Scotland and settling in Hawick, Senga joined and was a supportive member of Buccleuch Bowling Club. She was hugely talented, pretty competitive and highly skilled in the sport she adored. 

She won numerous club and Borders ladies titles which led to her earning her first Scottish cap in 1981. Playing at skip for most of her 13-year career in the Home International series, Senga’s record was excellent and she played her last game in 1993.

The highlight of Senga’s career came in 1986 when she was selected to play for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. Although level on points with the eventual winner, she was awarded the Silver medal in the women’s singles as her shots average was 2 short of the winning target.

She was the first Scottish woman bowler to win a Commonwealth Games medal and while presenting her medal, the Queen famously knocked Senga’s bowling hat off. A local newspaper at the timed quoted, “she captured the imagination of the Scottish public being a 52-year-old Hawick housewife competing in her first games”.

Senga also represented Scotland at the 1985 and 1988 World Bowls Championships as well as the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand. However, she had to wait until 1992 for her next major success.

The Women’s World Bowls Championships were being held on home soil at Northfield, Ayr. Joyce Lindores, Janice Maxwell and Frances Whyte won Gold in the triples event and immediately following this success, Senga joined the trio at skip in the fours discipline where they also won Gold. These triumphs also ensured Scotland won Gold in the team event.

Other major successes in Senga’s career included winning Gold in the fours at the 1993 Atlantic Championships in Florida. She was also an extremely talented indoor player, winning the Scottish pairs with Julie Gibson (Forrest) in 1992 and the Scottish triples alongside Julie and Joyce Foster (Dickey) in 1993.

Senga was an extremely popular figure within the bowling community and well respected by her peers. Her talent, encouraging nature and wry sense of humour made her a great person to be around both on and off the green.

Bowls Scotland would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Senga’s husband, Jim, and her two sons, Stewart and Alan. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her in the wider community and the world of bowls.

Senga is pictured below receiving her silver medal from Queen Elizabeth II at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. She is also pictured (far right) with her teammates Joyce Lindores, Janice Maxwell and Frances Whyte after winning Gold in the women’s fours at the 1992 World Bowls Championships.


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