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.