Clitheroe bowler misses out on match with superstars
It was a case of so near yet so far last Wednesday for local bowler Eric Wallace.
Eric from Clitheroe, whose four included Steve Goulding (Southport), Charlie Cowsill (Bolton) and Steve Airey (Blackpool) played at York Indoor Bowling Club in the last 16 of all England against a team from Nottingham, with the prize a place in the last eight at the National Indoor Finals.
Having previously qualified for the national outdoor finals, it was Eric’s ambition to complete the double, but sadly it was not to be.
In a nail-biting, three and a half hour, titanic struggle the Nottingham four got home 20-17, and although Eric and his teammates were disappointed they were philosophical in defeat, accepting that the Nottingham skip John Mildren had been the difference between the two fours.
John has now qualified for the national finals this year in four separate events- an amazing achievement in itself.
Eric said: “I would have loved to have qualified for the nationals and had a go at mixing it with the superstars, but it was a great achievement to have reached the last 16 of a national competition, and perhaps next year we can go that one step further!
“This is the first year that only the last eight have qualified for the finals - in previous years the last 16 have been invited.”
Eric, with his pairs partner John Schofield from Darwen, also got to the last 32 in the doubles event, falling at the last hurdle to a pair from Rugby.