Burkett and Burns bring home the gold
Districts have started crowning their champions who will head to Kowie Bowls Club in Port Alfred to do battle from 16-19 June 2022. And guess who will be on the plane? MBC’s Springbok duo of Neil Burkett and Sylvia Burns.
Their route to victory was not easy as they needed a last bowl effort to deny fellow Springbok Alan Lofthouse (Constantia team) a place in the latter rounds. After that nail-biting affair, it was smoother sailing as Burkett and Burns used every ounce of their experience and talent to continue their swashbuckling run to the finale.
“It’s been a real pleasure for me to join Sylvia this season for the Mixed Pairs,” said Burkett, himself already guaranteed a place on the plane to Birmingham as one of the Proteas’ coaches.
“I don’t think many will know that I almost missed out entirely on playing. It was quite late in 2021 when it was confirmed that I would be spending a few months in Cape Town playing and coaching at Mowbray and by then so many players had already linked up. Luckily, Sylvia was looking for a partner and I jumped at the chance of playing with her.
“She’s a stellar lead and continues to hold her own at the highest level. She makes my job much easier for me and now we are quite excited to head to Kowie for the finals. Who knows, with a bit of luck, we might just continue this fairytale run.”
Another team looking to secure the top spot in June will be JBA’s power duo of Bobby Donnelly and Esme Murphy. The Roosevelt Pair triumphed over club mates Warren Steyn and Karen Rodriguez to leave bowls fans around South Africa dreaming of what would be a final for the record books.
DID YOU KNOW: Burkett was the winner of the inaugural SA Mixed Pairs in 1980 when as a 32-year-old he joined Winnie Swart, then 76, as a combination that won the title representing EP bowls.