Lincoln’s Billy Jackson dedicated his Superbowl 2014 success to his father-in-law after beating Scotsman Michael Stepney in the final of the World Bowls Tour’s inaugural event that saw indoor bowlers take on their crown green counterparts at Blackpool Newton Hall.
Jackson claimed only his second-ever WBT singles title at the tournament final on October 17 – he won the World Indoor crown in 2009 – by beating Elgin-based Stepney 10-5 10-6 in the final.
In the first competition of its kind, eight indoor bowlers – including world champion Darren Burnett, world No.1 Paul Foster and reigning Ladies World Matchplay heroine Katherine Burnett – competed against eight of the best protagonists from the world of crown green.
Jackson came out on top in front of the Sky Sports cameras to scoop a cheque for £6,000.
The returns controller almost made it a memorable double in the Pairs competition, but fell at the final hurdle with crown green partner Danny Barwise, losing 9-2 13-4 to Burnett – who won gold for Scotland in the singles at the Commonwealth Games – and Chris Brown.
Jackson rolled back the years at the Blackpool venue, with a dominant performance in the final, which followed hot on the heels of a brilliant comeback win over world No.3 Nicky Brett in the semi-final.
He needed all his bowling nous to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, eventually coming through against the Ely ace on a tie-break.
Now ranked joint-23rd in the world, Jackson saw off crown greener Lee Brown first up and then edged past teenager Connor Cinnato in the quarter-final, before his epic victory over 2014 Scottish International Open winner Brett, which set up a showdown with Stepney, who had overcome two world champions en route to the showpiece.
Jackson, though, was always in the driving seat and in the end ran out a comfortable winner in a performance that will surely dispel any notions of retirement on his part.
He said afterwards: “I would very much like to dedicate this win to my father-in-law John who would have loved being here to support me, but has sadly just recently passed away.”
“Fate plays a big part in bowls and taking it all the way back to the first match, I had a fortunate result against Lee Brown.
“Then to win each set by one against young Connor was fate and against Nick I had two fortunate results in the second set. In the final I think it was fate that intervened again.”