BOWLS: Chloe Watson preparing for hectic end to indoor bowls term

Clifford Craig
Clifford Craig

With the curtain about come down on the indoor bowls season, Chloe Watson still has the opportunity of finishing with a trophy blitz.

The 18 year Bangor girl has become accustomed to strutting her stuff on the big stage. She has already reeled in a gold medal in the British Junior Mixed Pairs Championship, but topped that by becoming the first Northern Ireland players to win the WIBC Under-25 women’s singles title.

Watson came agonising close to adding to her array of honours last month, but was beaten in the final of the British Isles singles by Alision Merrien from the Channel Islands.

Now she faces a frenetic finale to the campaign, starting tomorrow when she features in the Professional Bowlers’ Association Superbowl qualifier at the Watson Stadium.

But it will not end there. Watson, joined by a posse of her international and club colleagues, will then appear in the Scottish Open qualifier on Saturday before hoping to book her place in the International Open on Sunday.

She will then pack her bags and head off to Jersey early next week where she will compete in the World Indoor Bowls Council’s Women’s singles championship.

“It will be a hectic end to the indoor season and it would be nice finish it on a winning note,” said Watson, who will be playing on her home carpet at Shaws Bridge over the weekend.

“The qualifiers are always difficult to win. You are not only playing against the best local players, but there will plenty arriving from across the water.

“Yes, it will be tough, but I’m looking forward to it. It will also be great preparation for next week’s world singles.”

Watson gets her qualification assault under way in the Superbowl event, where she will line out against her Belfast colleague Scott Jess.

The winner will face either Clifford Craig or Alistair Kennedy in the second round.

Watson then must negotiate the challenge of Ireland international Graham McKee in the Scottish Open event and they don’t come much more difficult that that.

Martin Gale or Steve Benson lie in wait in the second phase.

Belfast player Nicholas Greenfield will oppose the 18 year old in the International Open on Sunday. But the bad news is that the eventual winner will face Mark McPeak next time out.

The Ireland international will be looking to follow up on his success in the World singles qualifier last season, that earned his a place at Potters Leisure Complex back in January.

He benefits from an opening round draw in Friday’s Superbowl, but could well come up against fellow country man McKee, who will be favourite to see off the threat of Inverclyde’s John Fleming in round one.

And, as luck would have it, McPeak also avoids the opening round rigors in the Scottish Open. He will begin his challenge against either Nicholas Greenfield or Alistair Coleman.

Today: Supebowl qualifier: J Fleming (Inverclyde) v G McKee (CAIBC), M Gale (Blackpool Newtown Hall) v M McKeown (BIBC); K Bald (Midlothian) v J Watson (BIBC), A Wotherspoon (Inverclyde) v C Watson (Abbeyveiw), Reserve one v E Smith (CAIBC), J McCullough (BIBC) v A Ramsey (Abbeyview), J Duff (Abbeyiew) v A Coleman (CAIBC), C Craig (BIBC) v A Kennedy (Ballybrakes CIBC), C Watson (BIBC) v S Jess (BIBC), S Benson (Nottingham) v N Greenfield (BIBC), S Cruickshank (Elgin & District) v N Mulholland (BIBC), B Bird (BIBC) v R Millar (BIBC).

Saturday: Scotttish Open qualifier: J Watson (BIBC) v J Duff (Abbeyview), C Craig (BIBC v J Fleming (Inverclyde), B Bird (BIBC) v C Watson (Abbeyview), A Ramsey (Abbeyview) v S Jess (Belfast), A Wotherspoon (Inverclyde) v J McCullough (BIBC), E Smith (CAIBC) v S Cruickshank (Elgin & District), N Greenfield (BIBC) v A Coleman (CAIBC), M Gale (Blackpool Newtown Hall) v S Benson (Nottingham), G McKee (CAIBC) v C Watson (BIBC), M Mulholland (BIBC) v K Bald (Midlothian), M McKeown (BIBC) v S Bennett (BIBC), A Kennedy (Ballybrakes CIBC) v R Millar (BIBC).

R Battersby (CAIBC) v S Coleman, sen (CAIBC).

Sunday: International Open qualifier: K Bald (Midlothian) v J Watson (BIBC), M Mulholland (BIBC) v S Bennett (BIBC), C Watson (Abbeyview) v A Wotherspoon (Inverclyde), R Millar (BIBC) S Coleman sen (CAIBC), N Greenfield (BIBC) C Watson (BIBC), M Gale (Blackpool Newtown Hall), B Bird (BIBC), S Benson (Nottingham) v A Kennedy (Ballybrakes CIBC), S Jess (BIBC) v G McKee (CAIBC), R Battersby (BIBC) v C Craig (BIBC), M McKeown (BIBC) v A Coleman (CAIBC), E Smith (CAIBC) v A Ramsey (Abbeyview), J McCullough (BIBC) v J Duff (Abbeyview), J Fleming (Inverclyde) v S Cruickshank (Elgin & District).