Roger Boulle, Natalie Botha among champions as bad weather affects KZN bowls singles finals

From left, Roger Boulle (Westville BC), Bruce Burt (president of Kingfisher district) and Bradley Robinson (Lynwood BC). Photo: SUPPLIED

From left, Roger Boulle (Westville BC), Bruce Burt (president of Kingfisher district) and Bradley Robinson (Lynwood BC). Photo: SUPPLIED

Published Jun 6, 2024



The weather that wreaked havoc across the province on Sunday and Monday made for difficult playing conditions, and affected the outcome at the KwaZulu-Natal men’s and women’s singles championship played at clubs across the Kingfisher district.

At the close of play on Saturday, the rain began to pelt down, and continued on Sunday and Monday.

Taking to the green for Monday’s finals, Natalie Botha from Stella Park, Margate’s Maureen Muller (Kingfisher district), Roger Boulle from Westville BC and Lynwood’s Bradley Robinson (NIBA district) faced rain, wind and distant lightning.

The Bowls South Africa Inclement Weather Conditions Policy provides a definitive determination as to what constitutes ‘inclement weather’ and how this is to be treated.

The rule of safety is to be applied if lightning is within 10km of the venue.

Applying this rule, the Kingfisher organising committee put the finalists on hold to await the end of the storm.

With the lightning abating, they were allowed to resume play.

After a few more ends, with the ladies at 10-10 and Robinson having a slight edge over Boulle with the score 11-9 in the men’s final, the storm intensified, and with lightning within the danger zone, the bedraggled bowlers were called off again.

Organisers consulted with the finalists, with the possibility of resuming play on Tuesday morning. Personal and business commitments did not allow for this, and the decision was made to crown two champions in each section.

This decision gave Botha a hat-trick of singles trophies this year, and Boulle his first provincial singles title.

Botha, who had an exam at 8am on Tuesday morning, expressed delight in her achievement and commented on her next singles challenge – the PNB Masters Championship at the end of June.

Boulle, part of the winning team in the 2023 Bowls South Africa national fours and always in contention in district singles competitions, has proved that hard work pays off.

He believes that with dedication to your craft, anything is possible.

Commenting on the weekend’s tournament, Boulle expressed his satisfaction with the performance of his Aero bowls in the extremely difficult conditions.

He explained how he was able to adjust to the heavy, wet greens and the changing direction of particularly strong winds.

From left, Roger Boulle (Westville BC), Bruce Burt (president of Kingfisher district) and Bradley Robinson (Lynwood BC). Photo: SUPPLIED

In his account of the final against Protea bowler Robinson, who is also an advocate of Aero bowls, he clarified that although he was thrilled to have his name on a provincial trophy, he would have liked to see the challenge go the full distance.

“Brad and I were building up to a mammoth match of skills, and were going bowl-for- bowl in particularly adverse conditions,” he explained.

Boulle is a strong contender for the PNB Qualifying Masters on June 15 and 16.

Boulle’s Westville Wizards club mate, Matthew Mayo, ended the tournament in third position with a provincial bronze medal.

Supporters can look forward to exhilarating bowls in the PNB Junior Masters at Queens BC this weekend.

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