Stewart Anderson, the World Indoor Champion from Cumnock, is not only aiming to get his qualification for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games off to a good start at this weekend’s 4 Nations Test event in Kelvingrove (Fri 31 May – Sun 2 June, practice Thurs 30 May), but he has a score to settle with his brother who will be competing in the Irish team.
“It will be a family battle and he’s very good at bowls too so we are evenly matched,” joked 27 year Anderson who will compete in the Singles and Triples this weekend as part of the 20-strong Scottish squad involved in the event.
His brother Steven (22), moved to Ireland seven years ago and has since played for the national team.
“It’s never happened before, this is the first time we have played each other apart from a while back when I played against him in a junior international series in Ballymena Ireland. The Scotland team played the Irish team, and we won so he’ll be looking for revenge.”
The brothers are due to face each other at Glasgow 2014 Games venue, Kelvingrove, on Saturday afternoon, the second of the three day event which marks the official opening of Team Scotland’s selection period for the Glasgow 2014 Games. Ireland and Wales will be competing in the event, along with two teams from Scotland, ‘Clyde’ and ‘Kelvin’.
The event is as much a test of the iconic Kelvingrove’s newly laid greens as it is it for the players to impress selectors. And the public are warned that spectator facilities will be limited.
Until now Anderson’s career has focused almost entirely on indoors but, with the possibility of competing in Glasgow next summer, he has switched his allegiance to mastering the grass and this year was included in Bowls Scotland’s elite squad by Head Coach David Gourlay.
“David brought me into the squad in February and once he gave me a chance to play outdoors I was never going to turn my back on it,” said Anderson.
“So it’s now just the grass that I’m looking at this year to try and get involved in the Commonwealth Games.
“The 4 Nations is a big event for me because it is the first selection tournament and it is really important that I do well in this.”
Bowls is a core Commonwealth Games sport and since 1930 Scottish bowlers have won 13 gold, 7 silver and 8 bronze medals.
The Scottish game is healthy after exceptional performances in December’s World Championships in Adelaide where it won six medals, three of them gold. But conditions in Glasgow will be dramatically different from Australia and Gourlay will select a team to match.
“Our squad is a nucleus of the players that did really well in Adelaide but this will be in totally different playing conditions so it’s almost a clean slate again,” said Gourlay.
“For Adelaide the team was selected to play under the conditions in Australia, whilst the Glasgow team will be selected for the conditions in Glasgow, so we will assess the players who are performing well under the playing conditions at Kelvingrove.
“We have put 20 of our players in this competition and if they don’t make the selection criteria then it puts the pressure on them. So it’s really important for them to do well this weekend. This is the first of several selection opportunities so if they reach the criteria here then they can relax a little bit.
“It’s exciting because it is the first event to be held at Kelvingrove and we are still a bit unsure as to what the conditions of the greens will be like. They look amazing and it will be interesting to see what happens when we actually get onto them in a competition format.”
Go to www.bowlsscotland.com for:
- Online results at the end of each day’s competition
- Live scoring on finals day (Sunday)
- Playing schedule
4 Nations – Scotland Team lists:
Gents Singles: Neil Spiers Ladies Singles: Caroline Brown Gents Pairs: Ronnie Duncan, Neil Spiers (Skip) Ladies Pairs: Stacey Laidlaw, Lauren Baillie (Skip) Gents Triples: Martyn Rice, Grant Logan, Tommy Mann (Skip) Ladies Triples: Susan Murray, Lynn Stein, Caroline Brown (Skip) Gents Fours: Ronnie Duncan, Martyn Rice, Grant Logan, Tommy Mann (Skip) Ladies Fours: Stacey Laidlaw, Susan Murray, Lynn Stein, Lauren Baillie (Skip)
Gents Singles: Stuart Anderson Ladies Singles: Michelle Cooper Gents Pairs: Wayne Hogg, Robert Grant (Skip) Ladies Pairs: Claire Johnston, Michelle Cooper (Skip) Gents Triples: Stuart Anderson, Derek Oliver, Colin Walker (Skip) Ladies Triples: Anne Dunwoodie, Becky Craig, Margaret Letham (Skip) Gents Fours: Wayne Hogg, Derek Oliver, Robert Grant, Colin Walker (Skip) Ladies Fours: Anne Dunwoodie, Becky Craig, Claire Johnston, Margaret Letham (Skip)