John takes bowls over Baltic boat

John Reid weighed up bowls and the Baltic. Pic Gary Hutchison
John Reid weighed up bowls and the Baltic. Pic Gary Hutchison
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BOWLER John Reid’s lifetime ambition has forced him to turn down the holiday of a lifetime.

John, from Falkirk, has reached the National Bowls Finals in Ayr later this month as one third of Banton bowling club’s triples team.

But the tournament clashes with a £3,000 Baltic cruise the 48-year-old was looking forward to with his partner Lorraine.

“It was a very hard decision,” the HGV driver told Heraldsport. “Lorraine is still going but I am staying put.

“We had booked it knowing that was when the finals were but I have tried for almost 40 years to reach the finals – ever since I first swung a bowl – and it just so happens I’ve qualified now.

“It was my life ambition to get to Ayr – and I’ve finally done it. I do have regret that I’ll miss my holiday, but it is an achievement I’ve been working towards all of my life. I just couldn’t pass up the chance of fulfilling it.”

His partner’s sister will take his place in the likes of Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen and Tallin while John’s “at the west coast with a bucket and spade in one hand and my bowls in the other.

“It’s worked out well for her getting a free holiday – at least it wasn’t wasted.”

John and Lorraine had spent between £2,500 and £3,000 on the cruise, but the four decades invested on the green trying to reach the final 32 was worth more than the money to Reid, so he’s at the seaside and not on the Baltic sea on Wednesday, July 27.

Reid plans to step back from the sport a little after the competition calling this year’s event his “swan song”.

In fact, he had planned to do so earlier and booked the holiday, but a lack of team members in the triples saw him added to the squad alongside Richard Fulton and James Duncan.

“We picked the date a while ago because I wasn’t supposed to be playing, and the boat sailed from Leith and we thought, why not.

“Then the club was short and I stepped in to make up the numbers, but after all these years of trying I didn’t think this year would be any different and didn’t think I would make it to Ayr.”

He’d previously experienced disappointment with Castings, Bainsford and Grahamston bowling clubs but now he’s finally reached the pinnacle of his bowls career.

“I have won a lot of club championships over the years and a few prizes around the district, but this championship is a whole different level,” he added.

The trio qualified through playing in East Dunbartonshire and now face four or five matches at the end of the month.

“While Lorraine is on the cruise, our first match is on Thursday July 28.

“I say first match because now that I have reached the final I have every intention of winning it.

“I’ve given up a lot to get here and now I’ve finally made it I’m going to make the most of it. We’re only four games away from winning it, and I really hope we do.”