TOP Scarborough bowler Carole McLean turned in a career-best performance to win the women’s national indoor singles title at Melton Mowbray.
The 27-year-old sales assistant at Boyes department store, who discovered bowls when she was nine, has played for England since she was a teenager, and, in 2005, lifted the national Champion of Champions title.
“But this is definitely the highlight of my career so far,” said McLean after defeating Katherine Hawes, from Oxford, 21-18, in a fascinating final.
After qualifying from her area, McLean opened her bid for the title with a fine 21-13 victory over world junior champion Amy Stanton.
She then reached the final with wins of 21-9 over Amanda Donoghue, from Hayes in Middlesex, and 21-12 against her England team-mate Barbara Bellamy, from Torquay.
Taking an early lead in the final, she held on grimly as Hawes, who also lost to South Shields star Ann Knott in the 2000 final, found her touch and clawed her way back into contention.
“My granddad took me down to the Scarborough indoor green to watch them playing bowls when I was nine, and I was fascinated with the game,” says McLean.
“I love it - but I’m still the only member of my family who plays the sport.”
McLean is now looking forward to helping England retain the British women’s indoor team title at Stanley.
“The international series starts on Friday, and I can’t wait,” she said.
“This win at Melton has certainly filled me with confidence.”