Bowls trio make the cut
Ballarat bowling exports Brett Wilkie and Matt Flapper have cemented their positions in Australia’s Commonwealth Games team, as Michael Pollock reports for the Ballarat Courier. Wilkie will lead the men’s pairs outfit for singles star Aron Sherriff and bowl second for Matt Flapper in the fours, who will skip both the triples and fours in his debut appearance. Meanwhile, Victoria Bowling Club’s Tim Slater will lead out the bowlers with a disability triples side. The trio has been in intense training for several months since travelling to Glasgow, the site of this year’s Games, for a successful Eight Nations Commonwealth Invitational Championships in August last year. The positional announcements were made last Thursday at the penultimate training camp held in Maribyrnong. Flapper, who now bowls with Ocean Grove in the Ballarat-Geelong District Premier League, was ecstatic to land the role of skipper in the triples and fours. “I’m very excited to be given the job of skipping, it’s something that I’ve worked hard towards in the past two years,” he said. “I knew it could happen, but I’ve always thought that any selection was going to be a bonus. Training has been pretty hectic, we’re ramping it up as we get closer and I’ve been putting in a fair bit of work at the gym. “I’ve got a good bunch of blokes underneath me and it’s a special thing for Ballarat to have two bowlers in the same team.” Slater said he has yet to discover his best form on Maribyrnong’s slow 10-second greens, but remains confident he can recapture it before the trip to Scotland. “I’m a bit off at the moment but it’s better being out of form now than when I’m over there,” he said. “The game style is totally different compared to what I’m used to, you’ve got to be attacking all the time, even when you’re holding shot. “You can be as confident as you want about selection but until you see your name on the paper you don’t know.” The trio is due for a four-day training camp later this month where they will train in their respective teams before making the trip to Glasgow. Caption: The national selection panel has placed its faith in Matthew Flapper.