Milne's on a roll after national success
BOWLER Connor Milne said even he could scarcely believe his incredible comeback after being crowned Scottish champion.
At 11-2 down after the seventh end of the Gents Singles Final at Auchinleck on Sunday, the Turriff star’s chances of lifting the national trophy looked dead and buried.
But in a combination of showing a Lazarus-like prowess, and his opponent Colin Walker of Midlothian (a 2016 World Indoor Championship finalist) peaking too soon, Milne lost just two of the remaining 13 ends to power home a comfortable-looking 21-13 victory.
The Tarves-native’s run to the final saw him overcome Paisley’s David Horne by a similar scoreline in the semi-final a day prior.
Commenting, he said: “It was fantastic to win it.
“It’s huge for both myself and my club (Turriff) also.
“I had a good run to the final, played some steady bowls in the quarters last year and played well in the semi-finals the day before.
“I just wanted to establish myself in the final and give myself a chance.
“But I had a really bad start.
“The other guy started pulling away and at that point I just wanted to try and get some shots back to make it a bit more respectable.
“I was 11-2 down, I wasn’t playing well at all.
“At that stage I was more relaxed as I thought the game was pretty much beyond me.
“I really didn’t expect anything.
“But then I started picking up more shots and the other player started falling away, all of a sudden I was in with a shout again.
“I made it look quite comfortable in the end, it was a good feeling to get over the line.”
A regular atop the Scottish Junior rankings, Milne could perhaps count himself a victim of the perceived ‘Central Belt bias’ which, like Garioch counterpart Colin Banks, has seen him overlooked for national selection on many an occasion.
But now Milne knows that this success, perhaps the greatest of his bowls career to date, will make him impossible to ignore in future.
He added: “I haven’t been involved with Scotland for two years.
“I was hoping that getting to the semi-finals of this competition would give me a shout but I wasn’t selected in the next team.
“However I got a message on Tuesday morning saying one of the other players had pulled out so I’ve been drafted in which is a bonus.
“We’ve got the British Isles tournament in March and then there’s a Singles tournament for the international team later in the year so hopefully I can even be called up as a standby and try to make an impression.”