PMB bowlers join the Proteas

2014-10-09 00:00

MARITZBURG West Bowling Club has added a new chapter to their history with the selection of Laylon Howard and Brendan Ainley to the South Africa team.

They join the Proteas for a trip to Namibia to play in a quadrangular series against Zimbabwe, Botswana and the hosts, from October 29 to November 6.

Howard (61) plays in the seniors fours and trips, with Ainley (29) plays fours and trips in the juniors.

For both, this is the first time they have achieved Protea recognition and reached the pinnacle of their sport.

Howard has been playing bowls for 25 years and been a member of PMB West for 20 years. He has played for Natal and Natal Inland, with 130 caps for the latter. Currently, he is the club’s men’s singles champion and the district champion, having played inter-districts for more than 10 years.

He plays mainly on weekends and Friday afternoons, but also squeezes in practise sessions where he hits the green on his own, working on his game.

“I was invited to a SA Bowls camp in Pietermaritzburg and then Johannesburg,” said Howard. “We worked on our skills and control and I was quietly hoping I would make the team. Selection makes the extra work worthwhile.”

Ainley grew up on the side of the bowling green, watching his parents play. “I’ve been playing since I was 14 and joined PMB West two years ago.

Being selected for the Proteas is an honour, but having been invited to a camp last year, I thought I fared better then, but was not considered.

“”This time, I felt I wasn’t as good as last year, yet I got the nod.”

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