The West Lothian challenge for title glory in The Bowls Scotland National Championships played last week at the five greens Ayr Northfield Complex failed to produce any major success however Singles star Lorna Smith of Linlithgow reached the final of the Ladies.
Smith’s record of capturing the blue riband crown of the ladies championships three times in a row is a fantastic achievement and extending that to four was attempting mission impossible but gosh the former World No1 almost pulled it off. Expectations were sky high when Smith reached the final against Eileen McEwan of Lanark Thistle but the Linlithgow ace only performed like a shadow of her real self and paid the heavy price of a 21-13 defeat in 20-ends from an impressive opponent. Smith had struggled all week to master line and length but the amazing reserves of focus and mental strength had been her survival weapons and even in the final she had forced herself into a 12-9 lead. But Smith found she had a tiger by the tail and McEwan refused to be tamed and produced a series of excellent heads that yielded counts of 3, 2, 3, 3 that accelerated her into a 20-12 lead and two ends later the long reign of Smith was over.
“I value highly bringing the three titles to the banners of Linlithgow and West Lothian and gutted that I didn’t make it four but Eileen out-bowled me on the day and is a very worthy champion of Scotland” reflected Smith. “Life does go on though and as a reward for last years title win at Ayr I am looking forward to representing Scotland in the World Champion of Champions event being staged in Australia – a title that I won last year in New Zealand playing as the 2013 national champion”.
Junior Singles challenger Lisa Barrett of Kirkliston made a 21-9 exit to Prestwick in her second game – the title was won for a third time by Leslie Doig of Strathmiglo who beat Michelle Keenan of Dumbarton, 21-19.
Sandra Steven and Kirsteen McLelland of Uphall Station – the holders and three times winners of the Pairs title – made 15-14 exit in the first round to Kirkcowan who did stamp that form by reaching the final – but losing 13-10 to Burrelton.
Deans made a 15-10 exit in the first round of the Triples to Blacklands & District; the title was won by Cowdenbeith at the 18-6 expense of Scotstounhill.
Buchan Park carried the Banner in the Fours but made a 19-10 exit to Planefield in the first round; Zetland won the title with a 19-7 win over West Kilbride.
Andy Dunnett of Queensferry was the WL spearhead figure in the Singles and was edged out 21-19 in the second round by Bainsford – the blue riband title was won by 2010 champion Iain McLean of Blackwood Victoria who beat Stuart Bebbington of Ayton, 21-8.
Kirkliston’s Jordan Pearce lost 21-12 to tough customer Chris Stein of Markinch in the first round of the Junior Singles; Alan Barrie of Kirkintilloch beat Paul Kane of Brock, 21-13 in the final.
Bathgate reached the second round of the Pairs where they made a 14-13 exit to Lossiemouth; the title went to Jim Bonner and Brian Young of Tranent with an 18-14 win over West End Stranraer.
Walter McDougall skipped his Glenmavis Triple into the third round where they lost 16-14 to Crooksmoss; Inverkeithing beat beat Hyndland 15-12 in the final.
Linlithgow reached the semi finals of the Fours but Andy Grimshaw, Mark Graham, David Alexander, and Gary Smith lost 22-10 to Paul Foster (skip) of Troon Portland. West Kilbride beat Foster and Co 18-5 in the final.
The final days play in the 16th West Lothian Masters, sponsored by Scotmid, takes place at Oakbank this Sunday with the Quarterfinals commencing at 11am; the semi finals at 1-30pm; and the final at 4pm. The venues for tonights (Thur) fourth round play are, Uphall Station, Glenmvais, Queensferry, and Bellsburn while the section final venues (Fri) are, Kirkliston and Broxburn.
The field for the WL is 200 strong bidding for the bumper £1000 title and signature Green Jacket of The Masters- play got underway on greens all over West Lothian and the first casualty from the list of 16 seeds was No15 Connor McKendrick of Middleton Hall. McKendrick – a section winner last year – was rocked back onto his heels by a 15-2 battering over the first 10-ends by K Taylor of Uphall Station at Pumpherston and although staging a battling fight back went down to a 21-15 defeat.
Brian Craig – the holder and No1 seed – picked up strongly from 14-14 with a 1, 3, 1, 1, 1 finish to beat K Campbell of Mid Calder 21-14 at Bathgate where a double at the last saw M Simon of Oakbank pip George Inglis of Bridgeness in a 21-20 thriller. Other Seeds- No 2 Grant Logan (Kirkliston) 21 K Black (East Calder) 16; No3 Andy Dunnett (Queensferry) 21 C Gullane (Broxburn) 8; 21 No4 Gary Smith (Linlithgow) 21 J Aitken (Newbridge) 19; No5 John Aitken (Kirkliston) 21 D Duff (Seafield) 8; No 6 Ewan Shearer (Bo’ness) 21 A Gray (Kirkliston) 13; No7 Cameron Greer (Bathgate) 21 S Lamb Bellsburn) 8; No8 Alec Allan (Newbridge) 21 S Lambie (Whitburn) 17; No 9 Walter McDougall (Glenmvais) 21 J Deegan (Harrysmuir) 10; No10 Steven Fleming (Linlithgw) 21C Black (East Calder) 15; No11 Bryan Cooper (Bathgate) Scr; No12 Glen King (Bankton Mains) 21 C Hamilton (Queensferry) 17; No13 Richard Mark (Uphall Station) 21 F Barker (Oakbank) 12; No14 Ray Logan (Kirkliston) 21 A Paterson (Harrysmuir) 6; No16 Jordan Pearce (Kirkliston) W/O;