Crowd favourite to Indoor fans, outdoor fans and crown greeners, Lincoln’s Billy Jackson booked one of the last places for the Co-operative Funeralcare tour card play offs when he won one of the Lincoln qualifiers in style.
The tour card play offs come to Blackpool at the weekend (10th-12th May) where sixteen qualifiers battle it out for the two Tour cards which would see them entry into all the World Bowls Tour ranking events for next season. It’s a golden ticket that Billy has been hunting for since dropping out of the illustrious top 16 last season.
The Lincoln man, who won both the World Singles Championships in 2009 and the World Pairs back to back in 2006 & 2007, playing with world ranked number one David Gourlay, has his bags packed and is ready to please the Blackpool crowds.
When Billy was asked about playing in front of a noisy majority crown green crowd, he said: “I’m used to that having performed in the ‘Superbowl’ crown v indoor event for six years, you can’t beat a bit of banter from the crowd and I will certainly be trying my best to give them something to cheer about.”
Billy is now ranked 22 in the world and gaining one of the tour cards could see the popular family man from Lincoln get back into the top flanks of the sport.
But Billy isn’t the only name making an appearance at Blackpool. Devon man Danny Dennison is sure to entertain as is Ireland’s Gary Kelly. Add to that a mix of young and more senior qualifiers and qualifiers from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and it will be a spectacle of bowls for all watching.
Entry to the event is free and starts on Friday at 10am with Danny Dennison taking on the qualifier for the final place in the lineup, and Billy Jackson’s good mate, Danny Brown (Lincoln) followed by northern hero Gary R Smith who is itching to get into the TV stages next season. He plays Scottish qualifier Graeme Sloan in his opening encounter.
If you can’t make it to Blackpool to watch the event unfold live then the finals day is also being recorded for Premier Sport’s channel 428.