Ben following in his father’s footsteps
Teenager Ben Glasson became the first son of a South Pacific singles champion to win the blue-ribbon event after clinching the first open singles title of his career, as Mike Driscoll reports for the Illawarra Mercury.
The 19-year-old beat Taren Point star Craig Donaldson 31-27 in a titanic duel played before a packed green at Towradgi Bowling Club.
Albion Park bowls legend Brett Duprez was 18 years and almost 11 months old when he won the singles crown in January 1994, and just a year younger than the victorious Glasson 21 years later.
Glasson is also the first son of a South Pacific singles champion to also win the carnival singles after his father – Australian national coach Steve Glasson – claimed the title in 2009.
“It’s one of my favourite events and to win my first open singles, it’s a great place to do it,” Glasson said.
“It was a really tight final. I felt like I’d get a break and then Craig would come back, and then I’d have another little run and he’d come back again.”
In a 31-up decider, Glasson led 23-16 before Donaldson won three straight ends to only trail 24-21.
Once again Glasson had a five-shot lead, 27-22, before Donaldson converted a short-end with a three.
Glasson won two of the next three ends, both with his final bowl, to lead 29-27 before Donaldson was a little off.
And the Mt Lewis based teenager picked up a two for the title.
“There wasn’t much in it, but Ben played a little better than me,” said Donaldson, who got into the singles at the last minute.
Donaldson’s only previous South Pacific appearance was in pairs about eight years ago and he planned only to play in the fours in an all-Taren Point side.
But when clubmate David Axom had to withdraw from the pairs, Donaldson took his place, partnering John Green, and decided to enter the singles as well.
Donaldson heads into 2015 after his best year in bowls.
He won the 2014 state triples and made the semi-finals in the state singles.
Donaldson also helped Taren Point win the Grade 1 pennants and State Club Challenge at Warilla.
Caption: Ben Glasson claimed the first open singles title of his fledgling career yesterday, following in the footsteps of father Steve. Image: Kirk Gilmour.