Selection nerves for top bowlers

"CHRISTMAS comes but once a year and when it comes it brings good cheer" this might be the case in most circumstances but the Commonwealth Games comes but once in four years and today will mean joy and tears for some!

Today is the day when Bowls Australia announces the 12 players selected for the men and ladies teams for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games at Darebin starting on March 15. Four players from the Bowls Australia development squads will miss out playing in the games on home soil, which is a hard decision for selectors right on Christmas.

The eight-man squad is Kelvin Kerkow (36, Queensland), Steve Glasson (36, NSW), Nathan Rice (26, Queensland), Mark Casey (23, Queensland), Wayne Turley (32, NSW), Bill Cornehls (44, Queensland), Shane Globits (28, Queensland) and Barrie Lester (23, Victoria).

Those still in the running from the women's list include Karen Murphy (30, NSW), Roma Dunn (62, Western Australia), Lynsey Armitage (21, Queensland), Maria Rigby (43, NSW), Noi Tucker (44, Queensland), Kelsey Cottrell (15, Queensland), Katrina Wright (24, NSW) and Ceri Ann Davies (26, Queensland).

Only four members of the squad, Steve Glasson, Kelvin Kerkow, Roma Dunn and Karen Murphy have represented Australia at previous Commonwealth Games.

The recent decision by Bowls Queensland to exclude four players (including two players in the Bowls Australia squad) from consideration for selection to represent Queensland and from all State training activities until June 1 next year created many unsubstantiated comments about player suspension and ineligibilty to play for Australia.

Three of the four players involved in the player infringement during the Queensland versus Fiji Test appealed against the severity of the penalty and last Friday Bowls Queensland CEO Peter Turnbull issued a statement standing by the decision.

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THE 2006 Mens Australian Sides Championship is in Darwin and because of a lack of a local club with three greens, only 12 players will be selected from each State and Territory from the standard 16-man State side.

The decision to exclude the four players from selection until June 1 next year saves the selectors from excluding four players but the penalty had far more reaching ramifications when the questions was asked "Does this mean that Casey and Globits will be ineligible for the Melbourne Games in March?"

CEO Peter Turnbull said: "It was never the intent of the board to disqualify the players from any other area of the sport."

So it's all thrown back into the hands of selectors to choose the Australian team of 12 from the squad no Christmas cheer for the selectors.

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