Wishing Newbattle Bowling Club all the best tonight in there fundraiser for a Defibrillator for the Club.
The strong Edinburgh and Lothian expectations of staging a serious attack to capture the Holy Grail Gents Singles Crown in the Bowls Scotland national championships at Ayr Northfield suffered a torturous wipe out blow for all four of there talented second round challengers.
The axe fell with various degrees of anguished exits on West Lothians Gary Smith, Midlothians Stuart Fleming, and Edinburghs dual representation of Colinton ace Halley Cockburn and Craigentinny king pin David Brown.
And the tale of woe in the Singles continued later in the day with Megan Kivlin of East Lothian Co-op making a third round exit in the ladies event to a 21-8 defeat from Laura Welsh of Baillieston.
Browns dreams of glory were dashed in true nightmare fashion as the District 14 champion produced a purple patch run of 2, 2, 3 that accelerated him into an 18-9 lead over Darren Gaultieri of Hyndland. The prize of victory and a passage into the third round remained in sharp focus at 19-10 and 19-14 suggesting the end was nigh, and it was, but it was Brown going through the exit door having lost 21-20 to an explosive 1, 4, (1), 2 finish from Gaultieri.
Cockburn is a player that gives his game 100percent effort on the domestic scene and on this demanding occasion on the national stage he made an encouraging start to lead 7-6 but his carding of shots became sporadic in a 21-13 defeat from Craig Brown of Bellshill & Mossend.
Fleming of Inveresk stayed in the picture with a couple of 2s that closed him to 12-14 against Alistair McLelland of West Netherton then having remained competitive at 15-18 he bowed out to a 2, 1, finish.
Smith of Linlithgow made a decent start to lead 6-0, 10-3, 11-5, 15-10 but the abrupt loss of 1, 2, 2, 3 brought him under intense pressure at 18-15 down and he lost 21-18 to David McColm of Sandhead.
Play in the third round of the gents Pairs brought mixed fortune for Edinburgh support with Craigentinny making in though to todays semi final stage but Colinton failing to join them. Willie McDonald skipped Gordon Bold into a comfort zone lead of 17-3 after 11 ends then wrapped up a commanding 21-7 win over Westermains; however brothers John and David Fisher dipped from 6-7 and made an 18-8 exit to Port Glasgow.
Play in the third round of the Ladies Pairs saw sisters Leanne and Lauren Baillie of Cockenzie & Port Seton step up their bid for a fifth title triumph with a power packed display to crush Larbert, 28-6. They are joined in todays semi final line up by West Lothian sisters, Delia Flannigan and Angie Uttley of Glenmavis, with the 2007 champions defeating Kelvindale, 20- 14.
Laim McKay of Tanfield – the reigning E&L Tait Trophy Champion- carries the hopes of Edinburgh and Lothian in the Junior Singles – facing Robert Lenza of Thornhill in the semi finals.
Lorna Smith the former World No1 skipped her Linlithgow Fours rink of Emma Fleming, Annette Howlett, and Morven Shearer into todays semi finals with a 20-12 win over Dumbarton having rocked their opposition with 4, (1), 2, 2, 5 finish.
Wardie in the gents Triples and Carrick Knowe in the Fours scored impressive third round wins to bring added attraction for the Edinburgh support hoping to cheer title-winning performances. John Maginnes skipped Scott McDonald and Alan Ward into a 12-5 lead after seven ends then stayed resolute to deliver a 21-10 win for Wardie over Houldsworth while the Carrick Knowe rink of Graham Pringle, John Priestley, Stephen Pringle, and James Hogg finished 3, 3 to beat Kirn & Hunters Quay, 18-9.
No third round joy though for the Edinburgh Northern rink of Andy Reid, Gordon Wilson Snr, Jamie Reid, and Gordon Wilson Jnr who were bang in the picture at 13-9 up after 10 ends; but stayed trapped in the bowlers graveyard, losing 24-13 to a 6, 1, 1, 3, 2, 2, finish from Gordon.
Sighthill carry the Edinburgh Banner into the Purdie Worldwide sponsored Inter County Top Ten Tournament that celebrates its 37th year and swings into its prelim round action tomorrow (Sun).
Hopes are high that the four times champions of Edinburgh can succeed Carrick Knowe as national king pins and a favourable draw gives them home advantage against far travelled Tarves of Aberdeen & Kincardine.
E&L Hamilton Trophy star John McDermott spearheads the Sighthill challenge in the Singles and he is supported by, Adam Melrose and Graeme Eddington (Pairs); Aaron Donald, Scott Lyell, and Stuart Isbister (Triples: Ross moodie, David Connelly, Ross Noble, and Gary Connelly (Fours).
The champion club of all 25 City and County Associations nationwide are competing for the much coveted Jimmy Page Memorial Trophy – commemorating an Edinburgh personality figure of yesteryear – and this years final is being hosted by Bainfield BC on Sunday June 10.
Kirkliston are Top Ten legends having reigned as West Lothian champions on a record 12 occasions and The Cheesetown Boys have gone on to reach six national finals and capture the Scottish crown a record four times. Their bid to bring the 2018 title back to West Lothian is launched with a tough prelim round visit to their Stirling County counterparts- namely Adrian of Falkirk. The KBC line up features four times WL Master Grant Logan as the spearhead figure in the Singles while 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Neil Speirs skips Steven Forrest in the Pairs. Ray Logan – the 1998 Scottish Singles Champion – skips the Triple with his son Scott at lead and Mark Allison at second while his other son Calum skips Jordan Pearce, Andi Gray, and John Aitken – the 1988 Scottish Singles champion – in the Fours.
Cockenzie & Port Seton brought the national silverware back to The Garden County in 2007 and the giants of the East Lothian scene are expected to enjoy a strong 2018 campaign- albeit facing a tough test tomorrow away to Dumfriess. Scott Kennedy leads the line in the Singles while recent Gold Medal hero Derek Oliver skips Jamie Higgins in the Pairs while just announced new cap Steven Morgan skips Martin Munro and Jamie Gordon in the Triples. Michael Green, Gordon Baillie, Steven Thomson and Craig Valentine complete the line up in the Fours.
On the face of it Midlothian champions Deantown will line up as underdogs in an away visit to Law – the champions of mighty Lanarkshire – but there is a strong Top Ten tradition in the area and their Top Ten is not short of experienced figures. Six times club champion Brian Yuill skips John Fisher in the Pairs while his son Mark parades his skills in the Single while Grant King skips Robert Chapman and David Rattray in the Triples. County captain Sandy (AJ) Knight skips Colin Wilson Kenny Tait and Peter Rattray in the Fours.
Edinburgh & Leith launch their Cities and Counties campaign for The Hamilton Trophy against Fife at Sighthill today and under the new joint management of Duncan McLaren and Ricky Rutheford hopes of making a winning start to the East section are high. The return at skip of former captain Andrew Ramsay of Slateford is an eye-catching selection while eyebrow raisers is the benching of two inspirational brave-heart type figures in Daniel Gormley of Craigentinny and David Fisher of Colinton. Rink 1. Craig Mackintosh, Scott Rogers, Alan Brown, and Paul Veitch (cpt). Rink 2. Neil Watson, Andy McNab, Liam McKay, and James Hogg. Rink 3. Ross Noble, Stephen Pringle. Kevin Tenant, and John Ramsay. Rink 4. Graeme Eddington, Steven Pilley, Craig Paterson, and Andrew Ramsay. Rink 5. Adam Brock, Gordon Bold, Jamie Gracie, and Robert Marshall. Rink 6. Stuart Isbister, Stevie Ritchie, Robert Donaldson, and John McDermott.
West Lothian face Border at Gordon BC and team manager Gordon Logan makes six changes in personnel from the team that reached last years semi finals stage. In come Jamie Edwards of Broxburn, Bryan Cooper of Bathgate, Andi Gray of Kirkliston, Barry Sword of Buchan Park, Calum Black of East Calder, and Gary Orr of Linlithgow. They replace Scott Mushet of Linlithgow, David Lamb of Uphall Station, Drew Paterson of Newbridge, Andrew Semple of Newbridge, Andy Walker of Winchburgh, and the legendary John Aitken of Kirkliston. Logan and his co-selectors stay faithful to their six skips but five have new thirds with the back-ends reading; James Speirs & Grant Logan; Bryan Cooper & Neil Speirs; Greg Logan & Steven Fleming; Calum Logan & Andy Dunnett; Sandy McDougall & Ray Logan; Gary Smith (Cpt) & Thomas Mann.
Midlothian are without top stars Derek Oliver and Colin Walker for their match against Stirling County East at Newbattle and new manger Ronnie Allen gives a debut to Grant King of Deantown.
East Lothian open against West Fife at Inverkeithing.
Alex “Tattie” Marshall is Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games athlete after he won his fifth gold medal as part of the lawn bowls men’s four in Gold Coast.
The 51-year-old teamed up with Ronald Duncan, Derek Oliver and Paul Foster, to move past Allan Wells and para-cyclist Neil Fachie. The Scots showed great character to beat the hosts after trailing 8-2 after three ends and 13-11 in the final end. Marshall’s team picked up four shots to win 15-13 and snatch a dramatic gold. There was a fifth bowls medal for Scotland as Claire Johnston and Lesley Doig won bronze in the women’s pairs with an 18-10 victory over Canada. For Marshall it was a second shot at that record fifth gold after he and Paul Foster were beaten into silver by Wales in the men’s pairs earlier in the week. Alex Marshall, far right, celebrates gold with, from left, Ronald Duncan, Derek Oliver Paul Foster. This latest gold adds to the Gifford bowler’s titles in the men’s pairs at Manchester 2002, men’s pairs at Melbourne 2006 and the men’s pairs and fours he won at Glasgow 2014. Marshall’s longtime pairs partner Foster, the 45-year-old Ayrshireman, now joins Wells and Fachie on four golds.
Stacey McDougall was “over the moon” after she claimed a silver medal in her debut Commonwealth Games.
The 28-year-old from Dalkeith was part of the Scottish Triples team that was beaten for gold by the Australians on the Gold Coast, losing 20-12 to the host nation. It was the first time in 12 years since the Scottish women bowls team had won a Commonwealth Games medal in bowls and the team of skip Caroline Brown, Kay Moran and McDougall were delighted with their performance. “This means everything to me,” said McDougall. “This is my first Commonwealth Games and I am over the moon to win anything.” Too much grey, not enough spring? Just as winter feels like it’s never going to end, Jersey’s dramatic shift from winter to spring gets underway. Promoted by Visit Jersey The Scottish team were put under pressure by a vocal home crowd, but McDougall said the din from the sidelines was not a deciding factor in the final. “They weren’t distracting,” McDougall added. “I’ve got my whole family up there and the support for us has been brilliant. Really good.” In the men’s section, Tranent’s Alex Marshall, Bonnyrigg’s Ronnie Duncan and Leith-born Derek Oliver were set to take on Australia early this morning for the men’s Fours gold medal alongside Troon’s Paul Foster.
Scotland claimed the first of the lawn bowls medals at the Commonwealth Games in sensational fashion, winning a titanic head-to-head Triples battle against hosts Australia 19-14, at the Broadbeach club.
Dalkeith’s Ronnie Duncan and Derek Oliver from East Lothian were making their first Games appearance, ably directed by Darren Burnett ,Arbroath, the reigning Singles gold medallist from Glasgow. In taking the title, it gave the Scots their first-ever success in the Triples event. Played in front of a large local and also travelling support, the Scots silenced the somewhat parochial Aussie entourage with a stunning array of outstanding bowls across the 18 ends. In their morning semi-final they overcame Norfolk Island trio Phil Jones, Hadyn Evans and Ryan Dixon 20-8 to set up the gold medal match against hosts Barrie Lester, Nathan Rice and Aron Sherriff who beat Canada 20-5. As expected, the contest was a wildly vociferous affair both on the green and in the capacity filled spectator stands with both teams producing a game of the highest quality in a hotly contested and entertaining battle which ebbed and flowed from the opening end, with the statistics showing that the Scots scored on 11 and the Aussies on seven of the ends. Australia went ahead 9-8 for the first time in the final with a treble on the 11th end but some truely, unnerving inspirational play by the Scottish trio saw them yield 11 shots over the closing seven ends, while Australia only counted five leaving the Scots to take gold for the first time in this event much to the delight of their fans. The defining point in the match came on the penultimate end when Burnett ditched the jack to the left-hand rink marker side. Australian skip Aron Sherriff drew the shot to the edge of the ditch which would have seen them take a 15-13 lead. However, Burnett raised the roof with an inch perfect take out which yielded the Scots a treble and a breathing space of two shots playing the last which they then dominated to deal their historic triumph. Basking in their success, Burnett said: “We had a really gruelling qualifying section where we finished in pole position just one point ahead of Norfolk Island. “We met Section A winners Wales in the knockout quarter-finals and had to negotiate a late 15-13 win against them, then had to meet our section cohorts Norfolk Island yesterday again in the semi-finals. But we desperately wanted that gold-medal winning opportunity and were more than happy to win 20-8. “We knew Australia would be the toughest of opponents and would be lifted by their boisterous home support in the final but our supporters more than matched them and egged us on. “Ronnie laid our foundations from the lead position and was more than ably backed up by “Del Boy” at second . “We’ve played exceptionally well over the last four days and at times under testing conditions. There’s been a lot of rain since we arrived here which has slowed the pace of the greens a bit and that has favoured us. It has been a fantastic team effort and the two boys at the front certainly can hold their heads up high.” Scotland will go for further glory today with Paul Foster and Alex Marshall hoping to retain the Pairs title they won in Glasgow and also in Melbourne. Marshall though will be eyeing up the title for a record fourth time, initially winning at Manchester in 2002 with George Sneddon. The second phase of the bowls also gets underway today and, after their Pairs title decider, Marshall and Foster will join with Duncan and Oliver in a bid to retain the Fours title while Burnett will be out to do the same and retain the Singles crown. The women’s event reverts to Pairs and Triples with Claire Johnston teaming up with Lesley Doig in the Pairs and Caroline Brown skipping Kay Moran and Stacey McDougall the Triples.