Blind bowling team is going for gold!

A visually impaired ten-pin team have bowled the competition over to secure a place in the national winter finals in Wigan next month.

Derek, Belinda, Soss and Nigel at the bowling alley.

The Lincolnshire Bombers, made up of Nigel Limb, Belinda Barker, Soss Hallewell and Derek Croucher, formed last year with the dream of making the finals.

The National Blind Ten Pin Bowling Association’s winter league is open to teams of three, with the Bombers playing with a reserve.

Despite many of the players being new to the sport, the team finished in the top twelve out of 40 teams, which bought them a spot last year’s final.

Derek, Belinda, Soss and Nigel at the bowling alley.

The team then stormed into third place - and they’re hoping to go at least one better this time around.

Nigel Limb, from Sutton on Sea, joined the team as part of his recovery after a sand racing accident on a speedway motorbike left him in a coma for 11 days with a serious brain injury - which has rendered him partially sighted.

He’d never bowled before, but now it’s his passion.

He told the Leader: “After my accident, I struggled to get out of the house.

“The Lincoln and Lindsey Blind Society suggested I joined the bowling team.

“I took some persuading, but since joining I’ve never looked back.

“It’s been a huge part of my rehabilitation, helping me meet new friends and giving me something to talk about with my family.

“Moreover, it proves that I’m still independent - I can walk to the bus stop, catch a bus, have a wonderful time with friends and get myself home again.

“I’m just as able to do this as before my accident.”

The team has ramped up practice session frequency, meeting once per week to play each other, as well as other teams in the league.

They hope to at least maintain the form they had at the last final - where Nigel says they were ‘on fire’.

“We scored 14 strikes between us,” he told the Leader, “and I scored six of them!”

Nigel said: “The beauty of blind bowling is that really, the only difference to the non-disabled game is the fact the barriers are up.

“We don’t have any aids - it’s virtually the same game.”

The team is currently trying to raise funds to help pay for their trip to Wigan, with £300 coming out of Nigel’s own pocket last year.

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