Sport

Moama local to lead Murray Steamers’ Bowls Premier League charge

By Brayden May

WHEN the Bowls Premier League comes to the twin towns next month there will be a strong local connection, with Moama's Michael Walker set to play for the Murray Steamers.

The four-day event will see eight teams from across the country descend on Moama Bowling Club for the 11th edition of the competition.

And Walker, who first bowled at MBC almost two decades ago, said walking onto the greens would represent a special moment in his career.

“Having been involved with Moama for almost 20 years, I’m really looking forward to competing against some of the world’s best players at my local club,” he said.

“I’m privileged to be playing in this event as a member of the Murray Steamers.”

Walker is set to team up with Canada's Ryan Bester and New Zealand's Jo Edwards as they aim to win the Steamers’ first title since BPL02.

“Breaking the drought at Moama would be a great result,” Walker said.

“I’m very spoilt to play with two former world champions.

“Ryan is always a fantastic competitor and a great guy away from the greens. And with Jo you always know what you are going to get, she is an extremely reliable teammate.

“And our coach is David Ferguson has played for Australia at all different levels so having his wealth of knowledge puts us in a fantastic position.”

The BPL format has been described as bowls’ answer to T20 cricket, and Walker hopes it can draw in new fans.

“It’s incredible just how far the sport has come compared to when I first started,” he said.

“Back then it was all about your whites and having them pressed before you went out to play. I just want to show everyone bowls is an exciting sport, with short and sharp games.”

MBC sports venue manager Zane Mikin-Laurie said the club was excited to build on the Ultimate Bowls Challenge and World Bowls Challenge which have been held in previous months.

“It’s our third televised in the last few months so it gives us an opportunity to hit the ground running with the Bowls Premier League next month,” he said.

“I think this will be the pinnacle event in terms of the crowd and the interest. The first two events were big in themselves, but the BPL has been running for six years and has already got a big following behind it.

“We’re expecting an electric atmosphere like we’ve seen across the country in the past so I would encourage people to get along and have a look.

“Entry is free, and we have a grandstand which can hold up to 400 people with rink-side bars also in operation.

“It’s a great night out for those who do choose to come along.”

The competition will run from February 25 to 29 with all night sessions being broadcast on Fox Sports from 5 pm.

Meanwhile, day sessions will be shown live on the Bowls Australia Facebook page.

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