Kevin McNab beat his twin brother George in the final of the club championship at Dean to win it for a super sixth time and the 47-year old Head Groundsman at a College in Edinburgh now has his sights focused on capturing The Tait Trophy.Read More
The 2016 campaign for the Edinburgh & Leith Champion of Champions title reaches its climax at Wardie tomorrow night (6-30) and there is promise of an epic battle in prospect with McNab locking horns with Tait Trophy legend Robert Marshall of Slateford. McNab is no stranger to the extra special challenges of competing in a Tait Trophy final having reached that pressure keg stage back in 1997, and experiencing the disappointment of playing second fiddle to the then man of the moment in the shape of Kevin Rice of Northern. The talented, and now vastly more experienced, champion of Dean has reeled of four impressive wins in the Tait, and raised expectations that he could go on and bridge a title gap that reaches back to the 1974 triumph of Ian Blair. This season’s campaign trail got off to a testing start with McNab escaping to a thrilling 21-19 first round victory having trailed his Whitehouse and Grange counterpart, 19-16, before hitting 21 with a 3, 2 finish.
McNab’s latest victim in Monday night’s semi finals played at Colinton was first time Postal champion Stuart Turnbull of Postal who closed from 14-6 to 14-11; but the battle for supremacy was won in commanding 21-12 style by the Dean challenger. “I was troubled by a hanging back hand in the early stages of our game and trailed Stuart 6-1 but was able to find a consistent line and length that settled me into what proved to be a winning rhythm”, reflected McNab. “I am thrilled to bits at reaching this final of the Tait and sharing that limelight with a legend of the sport is the stuff that dreams are made of”.
Robert Marshall captured the first of his five Tait Trophy wins in 1982 and the now 52 year old 20 times club champion at Slateford remains the acknowledged Singles Supremo in the fiercely competitive circle of Bowls in the Capital. Marshall’s latest campaign in the Tait started in the prelim round and the latest of his five wins route to the final saw him defeat a fellow high profile challenger in the shape of international star James Hogg of Carrick Knowe. Hogg was first out of the blocks at Colinton with a 3, 1, 2 start to lead 6-0 then he continued in the ascendancy when carding a 3 at end nine to have Marshall in his 11-5 grip. Marshall changed the landscape in dramatic style, staging a purple patch fight back of 1, 2, 3, 4 that propelled him into a 15-11 lead; however Hogg stopped further fade out from the picture by closing to 16-15. The wily Marshall had managed to upset the Hogg rhythm with the effective but temporary introduction of a short mat tactic and having got himself into a comfortable track the Slateford ace turned up trumps with a 2, (1), 1, 2 finish to win 21-16 in 20-ends. “There is an extra buzz to a Tait Trophy final with its history dating back to 1888 and its good to be part of such an occasion”, said Marshall.