New world champion singles lawn bowler Shannon McIlroy will play in the Nelson Centre Pairs tournament this weekend for his Stoke Bowling Club, less than a week after his breakthrough win in Christchurch.
The Stoke Club had plenty to celebrate with both Shannon and former member Ali Forsyth claiming gold medals at the World Championships.
Stoke Bowling Club president John Marsden says the club committe was meeting on Monday night to discuss a potential celebration for Shannon when he returns.
“Shannon’s victory is just amazing,” John says. “We see him on the greens a lot and I’m sure his victory will do a lot for our club and bowls in general here in Nelson.”
Shannon made good on years of potential by winning the blue riband event, the men’s singles 21-17 over Canada’s Ryan Bester, while Ali skipped the men’s fours to a 23-4 demolition of Australia.
“It’s pretty surreal right now – growing up playing bowls, it’s what dreams are made of,” Shannon says.
“After 25 years in the game, I think all those days wagging school and going down to the bowling club have paid off,” says the 29 year-old who celebrated his 300th cap with the victory.
Meanwhile, it was a little superstition helped Ali keep his cool in the men’s fours win.
“I was getting hot with my jacket on but the one time I took it off this week I started playing rubbish.
“To hold such a quality team to such few shots is the stuff you dream about and I can’t believe it’s happened to be fair.”
United Bowling Club’s Jo Edwards had to settle for silver after losing the women’s pairs final with Angela Boyd 16-15 on Sunday.