Neluonde bowled over as he carves new mark.

PRINCE Neluonde, who started playing bowls just four years ago, was one of two novices who helped the South African men’s trips to the Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow yesterday.

He, Pierre Breitenbach, who got a late call-up to Scotland, and veteran skip Bobby Donnelly downed Northern Ireland 19-10 to pick up Team SA’s sixth gold medal of the showpiece.

It was the South Africa lawn bowlers’ third gold, and they lead the medals table in that sport.

Making this gong extra special is that Neluonde, who hails from the Bryanston Sports Club, is the first black South African to represent the country at lawn bowls.

Now he is South Africa’s first black bowls medallist at an international competition.

Neluonde started out as a greenkeeper at the club, like his father Bennett before him, and since showing some promise in his first tournament, he has never looked back.

Breitenbach, 27, flew into Glasgow only a week ago after Rudy Jacobs injured his shoulder, but he delivered arguably the most crucial bowl of the match.

The opponents had narrowed SA’s lead from 14-3 to 14-10 and in the 15th end they were sitting three woods to the good.

That’s when Breitenbach drew a shot that allowed South Africa to win it by two shots.

In other early action yesterday, 400m star Wayde van Niekerk cruised through the heats, crossing the line in 46.87sec. His semifinal is this evening. The men’s hockey team were downed by Australia 0-6, with four of those goals coming from open play.

East London-based boxers Ayabonga Sonjica, Siphiwe Lusizi and Tulz Mbenge all won their round-of-16 bouts to advance to the quarterfinals.

Bantamweight Sonjica and middleweight Lusizi, who both competed at the 2012 Olympics, won their fights easily.

Lusizi dominated Kiwi Eric Finau and Sonjica was untroubled by Sri Lanka’s Manju Wanniarachchi.

Welterweight Mbenge had to come back after losing the opening round against Kenya’s Rayton Okwiri, a 2011 All Africa Games bronze medallist.