Malobolo, Neluonde lift national bowls pairs title

WILSON Malobolo and Prince Neluonde (right) lifted the pairs title at the recent 2024 Bowls SA Men’s National Championships in Gauteng. | Supplied

WILSON Malobolo and Prince Neluonde (right) lifted the pairs title at the recent 2024 Bowls SA Men’s National Championships in Gauteng. | Supplied

Published May 27, 2024


WILSON Malobolo and Prince Neluonde have again underlined their standing as a force in national bowls after they won the pairs title at the recent Bowls South Africa Men’s Nationals at the Bedfordview Bowling Club in Gauteng.

The 2024 champions added the pairs title to the SA Nationals Fours gold medal they won some time ago. They continue to set the pace on the national bowls landscape and have strong claims for international honours.

Despite their rich history in the game, it is no secret that they were chasing this title after a few failed attempts.

The final against Otto Holicki and Warren Steyn (Linden Bowling Club) was anything but straightforward as the Linden duo withstood any challenge laid down by Malobolo and Neluonde (Bryanston Sports Club).

The class of the winners shone through as they battled their way past Holicki/Steyn 16-15, with persistent drawing and some exciting shot-making.

“This one means a lot,” said Neluonde, who won the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the triples discipline in Scotland.

“Wilson and I set the target early. We have tried and tried, and to eventually lift this trophy means the world to us.”

Malobolo had high praise for his teammate pushing through despite some ill-health.

“It was a pity that Prince was not feeling 100%, but I know what he is capable of doing. He hung in there and helped do his part against two difficult opponents. We always play like this – if one is not doing well, the other lifts their game.

“It was a great game. It was tough going, and credit to Otto and Warren for their performance in the tournament.”

Wayne Roberts put on a masterclass to defeat 2023 champion Paul White in the Open Singles.

It was a fascinating day of singles as White put on a stunning display to advance to the final past BSA Gold Squad member Shaun Thomas with a resounding 21-5 margin.

The shoe was on the other foot an hour later as White had no reply for Roberts’ surge as he cruised home with a 21-6 win.

Roberts will now represent South Africa at the World Champion of Champions tournament in Auckland, New Zealand.

“It’s out of this world,” said Roberts, the reigning African States Singles champion.

“I lost in the 2016 final, and I am happy to finally do it. It’s been a long time coming. It means everything right now.”

Roberts knows White’s game well because they both play in the Port Natal district. He also watched the semi-final, which gave him an insight into what was in store.

“He was unbelievable in the morning game, so I knew it would be tough. He’s a good competitor, and it is never easy beating him although we’ve played against each other often.

“Some lucky moments went my way in the early stages. It is not nice, but that’s all part of the game.”