Kirky bowler is the king of pins

KNOCKING down the pins at a bowling alley is a hobby enjoyed by many around the globe.

But not all of them can say they have achieved a maximum score in the game – unlike local hero Steven Gill.

The 23-year-old, who works for Pro Bowl in Kirkintilloch, achieved the rare feat during a recent tournament held at the Milton Road complex – bagging an incredible 12 strikes out of 12.

He wasn't even scheduled to play in the event, but got a last minute call to take part.

Steven commented: "I wasn't supposed to be playing on the day, but my boss told me to play a few hours before the tournament because it wasn't too busy due to the weather.

"I had to use an old ball that I hadn't bowled for a while, as well as an old pair of shoes!"

Steven admitted he was shocked at his achievement.

Bizarrely, however, due to the form of the tournament, he actually finished second.

Nevertheless he was delighted to finally post the magical 12 strikes.

He said: "It was a really close run thing and I reduced the deficit from 77 pins to five in the last game, which I was quite impressed with.

"But after the 11th strike, I knew I had achieved my highest score so I was really pleased.

"I had made 10 strikes twice before then blew it on the 11th, so on my final shot I was shaking with nerves, but thankfully, they held off."

The keen bowler, who was introduced to the sport by his family, dreams of making it as a professional player in the United States, but has his ambitions set a little closer to home.

He said: "Going professional has crossed my mind, but it costs five figures just to get to the USA and set up.

"I'm playing in the Irish Open in January and hope to qualify for the Northern Grand Prix finals in May, which is of a really high standard.

"I just want to use the experience I have and to keep improving."

Steven is pictured at Pro Bowl.